DAILY REPORTS and Documents | L.A iPNB meeting page
Green Party message
Presented to the iPNB meeting in L.A. March 8 - 10, 2002
GREEN PARTY USA
IN DEFENSE OF FREE SPEECH RADIO:
After a long struggle to democratize the process at Pacifica and its local stations, the Listeners’ Movement has won a tremendous victory. The hijackers have been defeated, and their paymasters – the Democratic Leadership Committee of the Democratic Party and the multinational corporations attempting to privatize the network – have been forced to retreat, for the time being. The fired and banned at WBAI in NY have been returned to their places behind the microphones. Democracy Now is back and kicking up a storm, daily exposing the tyranny that wraps itself in the American flag and attempts to pass for "Democracy" emanating out of Washington. Social justice and radical ecological voices are once again heard on our stations! The same restorative process is underway at the other Pacifica stations, and the Green Party USA urges the interim National Board to pick up the pace here in L.A. and elsewhere. The Green Party USA heartily endorses the plans to return the national office of the Pacifica Foundation to its rightful home in Berkeley California where thousands took to the streets two years ago to defend free speech radio.
With elections to the local Station Boards (formerly known as the LABs) and to the Pacifica National Board to be conducted over the next 12-15 months, new challenges face us. Now we have to ensure that the elections are run democratically and that Listeners across the network are granted the legal status of stakeholders, empowering all of us in the Pacifica family to take part in defining the mission of the Station Boards and in writing new bylaws for running the local stations as well as the Pacifica National Board.
We recognize that elections alone do not guarantee a progressive outcome. Like every other process, elections can be controlled and manipulated by concentrated wealth and power to exclude listeners from meaningful participation, especially communities of color and working class people. Securing REAL democracy requires encouraging, ALWAYS, the active participation of all members of the community. No structure, however elegant or clever, can substitute for the political and ideological development that comes about through mass participation, which alone is the only way to effectively defend our victories and define a progressive and radical Pacifica network.
The challenges we faces in accomplishing this mass participation are four-fold:
1. How do we sustain the mission of Pacifica so that it protects against a hostile takeover from without and the accumulation of power by elite groups from within?
2. How do we foster participation by people of color, women, gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, disabled, youth, senior and working class people who have been historically excluded or underrepresented in corporate media and even within our own "alternative" network, thereby strengthening Pacifica’s mission and making explicit the network's role as a forum for social and ecological justice?
3. How do we provide for local station autonomy while ensuring against the balkanization of the Pacifica network and sustaining an effective national organization?
4. How do we balance the different and sometimes contradictory interests of listeners, producers and staff to ensure fair representation at the local and national levels that is consistent across the network?
Greens across the country are looking forward to this challenge. The Green Party USA has been active every step of the way in this fight to reclaim Pacifica. We see the enemies confronting Pacifica – FCC director Michael Powell, for example, who is the son of Secretary of State Colin Powell – as front men for what Ralph Nader called the "Duopoly": the twin parties of war and corporate power – the Republicrats – that control the government. The US needs a SECOND political party! Similarly, we need a radical, truly democratic and anti-war Pacifica to uphold the public interest and challenge the ever-growing concentration of corporate power that now controls the Public Airwaves.
March 8, 2002
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