Latest Press Release from Juan Gonzalez:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FEBRUARY 6, 2001
CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED FOR A FUNDING BOYCOTT OF PACIFICA
RADIO'S FIVE-STATION NETWORK
A new organization is calling for listeners of Pacifica radio stations
around the country to show their opposition to the current corporate
takeover of the network by refusing to donate any money to Pacifica
until its current board of directors resigns and is replaced by a new
board that is democratically accountable to listeners, staff and the
communities the stations serve.
The Pacifica Campaign, the group spearheading the boycott, was hastily
founded this weekend following last
week's dramatic on-air resignation
by Juan Gonzalez, longtime co-host of Pacifica's national flagship news
show, Democracy Now!.
In his resignation, Gonzalez criticized a "clique" on the board that
has "hijacked" the network. That clique, Gonzalez said, has routinely
squashed free speech on the Pacifica stations, has violated the civil and
labor rights of listeners and staff, and has illegally changed the
non-profit network's by-laws in preparation for a possible sale of one or
more of the stations.
Gonzalez, who joined with some 35 New York city activists to found the
new group this past weekend, is serving as interim coordinator of the
"I want to say there is, there has been a change in
management, and I'm delighted to say I've been named the interim
station manager of WBAI. And I'm hoping that in the coming weeks as
we face a tough hill to climb that we will find the energy and the
mutual respect and all the good things that we can summon up within
ourselves to meet the challenges ahead and we'll do that. In the
meantime, there is no need, there is no coup, there's just me, just
me, and we are doing some changes, everything remains the same, all
programs will continue as always, and as you've been witnessing,
you've been here for some time, I don't think you can describe the
atmosphere as being, what, no SWAT team is here, and nobody is being
patted down, and no metal detectors, or anything like that, we're
just making a change and we'll be OK."
-- Utrice Leid, WBAI
Interim General Manager
As part of the campaign, the group will seek to pressure individual
board members to resign by utilizing non-
violent, direct action and by
launching an educational campaign to the public that exposes the roles of
the individual board members in the current crisis.
Starting today, the Pacifica Campaign will have five full-time
volunteer organizers and scores of part-time
volunteers working on the
effort. We have also retained the services of Ray Roger's Corporate
Campaign Inc., a
group that specializes in mounting nationwide
boycotts against anti-labor and anti-community organizations.
In the few days since Juan Gonzalez's resignation, the campaign has
been flooded by thousands of e-mails and phone calls of support from
Pacifica listeners who want to help.
Organizers will be contacting those listeners directly during the next
few days. Meanwhile, we urge all listeners to do the following:
1) DO NOT PLEDGE ANY MONEY TO ANY PACIFICA STATION
2) IF YOU HAVE ALREADY PLEDGED MONEY, DO NOT SEND YOUR CHECK IN
3) CONTRIBUTE MONEY INSTEAD TO THE PACIFICA
CAMPAIGN, OR TO THE
THREE LEGAL SUITS CURRENTLY CHALLENGING THE BOARD'S LEGITIMACY, OR TO A
LOCAL LISTENER GROUP IN YOUR AREA -- IN SHORT, TO THOSE FIGHTING TO REFORM
PACIFICA.TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PACIFICA CAMPAIGN CAN BE MADE
THE INSTITUTE FOR MEDIA ANALYSIS/PACIFICA CAMPAIGN.
THE MAILING ADDRESS IS:
THE PACIFICA CAMPAIGN
NEW YORK, NY 10012
4) CALL YOUR LOCAL PACIFICA STATION AS OFTEN AS YOU
CAN AND LET
THEM KNOW YOU WILL NOT GIVE ANY MONEY UNTIL THE CURRENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
5) DO NOT COOPERATE WITH PACIFICA'S FUND DRIVE BY
PREMIUMS ANY BOOKS OR TAPES YOU HAVE
AUTHORED OR PRODUCED.
Also, do not be confused if you hear the host of your favorite show
urging you on-the-air to pledge money. Many producers and hosts are
opposed to the policies of the current board of directors, but they are
prevented by gag rules from voicing their displeasure and they must ask
for pledges from listeners or they can be fired. It is important to keep
shows like Democracy Now! on the air.
For now, we are urging producers who oppose the board to keep
soliciting pledges but to "work to rule," i.e., do the minimal amount of
fundraising work and with as little enthusiasm as possible.
As we reduce the money coming into Pacifica we will reduce the board's
ability to continue its anti-listener policies. At the same time, we will
be increasing the
pressure on individual board members, until they
have no recourse but to resign.
We will oust the hijackers and return Pacifica to its original