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Program Information
 Pacifica Updates for Affiliate Stations 
 
 News Report
 
 Smithy  
 For non-profit use only.
Producer: lyn/smithy smithy@mindspring.com
Uploaded by: pacificawatch@hotmail.com
Script for Readers
=============


This is the Pacifica Update for the week ending July 29. I'm [...]

Last week saw another firing at the embattled studios of WBAI. When Polk award winning journalist Robert Knight arrived for his weekly program, he was greeted by a security staffer who handed him a memo from station manager Utrice Leid. It informed him that his show was cancelled and he that was also barred from being a host, co-host, substitute host, or producer of any WBAI program. Knight had been at the station for more than two decades and had taught the skills of radio journalism to many who have since become formidable in their own right.

Demonstrations at WBAI have been held to protest Knight's dismissal, and more are planned.

In an unexpected legal development last week, Pacifica executive director Bessie Wash terminated the services of law firm Epstein, Becker and Green (EBG) as representatives of the Pacifica Foundation. EBG, known for its anti-labor legal work , is the employer of Pacifica Board member John Murdock, and has been the target of demonstrations calling for Murdock's resignation. Another firm hired by Pacifica's insurance company was also given the boot.

Pacifica has instead retained the services of the firm Williams and Connelly, whose resume includes defending Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings. Sources inside the various lawsuits calling for the removal of the present board majority estimate that it may cost between 50 to 100 thousand dollars just to bring the new firm up to speed., as well as create additional delays in reaching a resolution to the crisis.

Longtime Pacifica watchers see the hand of former Pacifica chairperson and Clinton appointee Mary Frances Berry in both the selection of the new legal team, and the recent effort to repack the Board which a California judge quashed last month.

As Pacifica Chairperson, Mary Frances Berry guided the process that created the present self-selecting Board, ordered the shutdown of KPFA and lied to the press repeatedly when asked to confirm reports that discussions of selling stations were taking place in closed-door executive committee meetings. Berry also asked the US Department of Justice to intervene to pressure local police to crackdown on listeners protesting the takeover of KPFA in 1999. Though public pressure forced her to resign from her official position on the Pacifica Board, she is believed to continue to exercise influence via her supporters , such as the new de facto Chairperson, Ken Ford.

Activists are redoubling their efforts to pressure Board members of the hijacker faction to resign. They now hold only a one-vote majority.

A National Day of Action has been called by the Pacifica Campaign on Wednesday, August 8th . Ken Ford is one of the key Board members whose resignation is being sought. Ford is known for responding to listener letters with obscenities and for shredding a KPFA listener petition presented to him at a Board meeting, and throwing it at the feet of person who delivered it.

On July 10th, the Pacifica Campaign kicked off nationwide protests against at 12 affiliate offices of the National Association of HomeBuilders (NAHB), the anti-environmental and anti-disability rights group where Ken Ford works. As well as calling for the resignation of Ken Ford, demonstrators protested recent threats made by the NAHB against the Progressive Portal web site, and NAHB attacks on environmental protections and disability rights. Protests occurred in New York City, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Washington DC, Nashville, Boston, as well as several smaller cities in the environs of New York, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Several of the protests drew more than 100 participants. The national action marked the inauguration of a new coalition between environmental, disability rights, and Internet activists.

Meanwhile, NAHB president Bruce Smith met with activists and agreed to raise the issue of his resignation with Ken Ford.

New people are continuing to contact the Pacifica Campaign about forming new picket groups, from places such as Maine, Alabama, Colorado, and New Mexico.

To find out how you can get involved, contact the Pacifica Campaign on the web at www.pacificacampaign.org or call toll free at 800-797-6229, thats 800-797-6229

That's it for this weeks Pacifica Update.






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