"Pacifica" national board calls for sanity
More lame-ass "Pacifica" national board garbage. "Reconsider" the lawsuits because of the World Trade Center attack and a need for unification at Pacifica? That didn't stop the PNB from taking advantage of the confusion to stack the board with more illegal appointees on Sept. 19th.
PNB: RESIGN NOW!
Boycott, boycott, boycott!
Dear All, The new Pacifica Board Chair Robert Farrell went on the air on several Pacifica stations with the statement transcribed below. While there is much that could be said about the content of the speech, for the moment what is important to understand is that Robert Farrell has repreatedly lied and broken faith with the community, has acted based on where he believes power lies (and what position will give him the central role his ego craves). For example, Farrell had made an offer a few months back to change sides in return for the Chairmanship. He is a person without principle, as the word is normally understood.
Furthermore, this "initiative" is I believe designed to trick the listener-sponsors into donating to replenish the coffers of this criminal Board and management, who have already squandered millins of dollars in their efforts to dismantle Pacifica, silence it as a voice of dissent, and in some cases, line their own pockets in the process. Also, it seems that they intend to use this "peace initiative" to try to undermine the lawsuits proceeding to trial.
Without going on at length, Farrell's use of the name of the anarcho- pacificist Lew Hill is appalling in this context, considering Farrell's failure in the statement to take a strong stance against war, and the veiled jingoism displayed throughout this piece.
I suggest a response to Mr. Farrell's "leadership" - not a penny to these criminals and Beltway flacks.
Following Farrell's comments is a response from three dissident Board members, Cagan, Moran and Bramson.
From: Chris Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement by Mr. Robert Farrell, Board Chair, Pacifica Foundation
(as aired about 1455 PST, 27.09.01, on KPFK, Los Angeles)
The peace initiative that I announce today is an exercise in leadership to expedite the process of our reunion and focus our attention on our new reality as of Sept 11, 2001. It brings familiar voices back to our airwaves; we handle our grievances and differences internally; and we request the continuing confidence and support of our many listener-subscribers in the Pacifica leadership. It establishes a Pacifica role in the American led response to the terrorist war brought so violently to our country. These activities can be accomplished in the near future. They are in response to our national crisis.
I want a unified Pacifica. We need to field the best team available as we use our airwaves, so I am asking Amy Goodman to come back to a supportive Pacifica; that the Pacifica Campaign pause in its activities; and that the Pacifica network news stringers end their strike and return home. And I will ask board members who are suing Pacifica to please reconsider their suits at this time.
I'm currently in Washington, D.C., to meet with the Executive Director and our counsel on the state of affairs of the Pacifica Foundation. I will use this information and a series of proposed policy matters already prepared by our Executive Director and Board member recommendations for a report on the state of the Pacifica Foundation. I will obtain independent organizational audits of Pacifica as we address our management oversight and fiduciary responsibilities. I promise our listener-subscribers that as materials are prepared for board discussion that they will be posted on our website and that we will develop and use our airwaves and the internet to seek their concerns and comments.
As we take this path we must begin to define Pacifica's unique role as America sets forth on its war on terrorism. Central to that role is Pacifica Network News and the way that we approach national programming on our airwaves. I believe that the expressed concerns of station managers, staff, volunteers, and listener-subscribers past and present can be addressed and resolved when considered in the context of the international crisis that we face today.
To support our board and staff in dealing with the new reality I will establish an independent panel as advisors in the vital role of management of Pacifica Network News. It will be supplemented by experts with knowledge of the lands and people most immediately effected in this, the first world war of the 21st century.
I want to thank our station managers and staff, paid and volunteer, for their services and contributions to Pacifica. I appreciate that support. I want to express my appreciation again to you, our listener-supporters, who make the Pacifica Foundation, its airwaves, management and our leadership opportunities possible.
Now, we will be coming to you again soon, as is our custom and obligation, for financial support through our fund drives and special appeals. We must all come together to fund and finance our future. The Pacifica Foundation and community that will engage the new international war and its consequences will require our giving - mine, yours, and all the members of the Pacifica family.
What you can expect to hear in the near future is our support and encouragement of people like the courageous Representative Barbara Lee, advocate of a Department of Peace, Representative Dennis Kucinic, information and news concerning the campus awakenings as a new generation expresses its concerns about war in more than 120 locations across the country; commentary and analysis of the war and its consequences put in historic, economic, and political context as a guide to civic and political action.
What we will also expect of you is your continuing support and participation as we review the vision and role of Lew Hill and use that as a guide in our own transformation of Pacifica in this present day.
Thank you very much.
God bless Pacifica.
God bless America.
Subject: [grc] Response to Bob Farrell's on-air
An Open Letter the Pacifica Community In response to Bob Farrell's on-air statement of September 27,2001
From: Pete Bramson, Leslie Cagan, Tomas Moran
Last Thursday, Bob Farrell, who was elected Chair of the Pacifica National Board by the same majority that added five new board members in a plainly unfair and non conciliatory process, delivered a previously unannounced message on some Pacifica stations by grafting a five-minute statement to the Pacifica Network News feed.
This is our response to his statement, which has been dubbed the "peace initiative". As board members, we would have liked the opportunity to have learned of this communication in advance, and to have been offered the opportunity to respond as a dissenting minority, in the manner that other institutions offer such opportunity. It is incomprehensible to us that our institution, with its fifty-year commitment to airing the alternative voice of dissent, would not consider the contradiction between its mission and its behavior.
As of the moment we write this statement ,a full four days since Mr. Farrell's on-air comments, we feel compelled to publish a response to a statement that addresses us directly, but which has not been provided to us. Some of us have managed to hear the statement on the internet, if we have access to net audio. Ironically, Mr. Farrell's online audio is found not in our Pacifica Foundation's web page, but rather in the web pages of some of the opposition community groups. Other board members have merely heard about Mr. Farrell's remarks second-hand.
In an age of instant communications, we are 4-days in waiting for a response to our request for a copy of Mr. Farrell's remarks, a task that could literally be accomplished with the flick of a wrist and a click of a mouse.
Mr. Farrell invites everyone back to the "Pacifica Family", promising that accountability will follow. He asks those of us who are board members and plaintiffs to "reconsider our case". He asks those of us who are listeners to unite and to support the Foundation financially.
This is the "peace initiative" that was similarly described to the plaintiff board members in a phone conversation with Mr. Farrell three weeks ago, in which he unequivocally explained that he would be adamantly against the election of any new members to the Board in the upcoming September 19th meeting. In a Board that was divided 6-5 in many votes, it was Mr. Farrell's vote, contrary to his stated position, that enabled the majority board to unilaterally add members by its own invented process.
We give Mr. Farrell and the "peace initiative" now the same response we gave then. Consistent with our commitment to reconciliation and healing for Pacifica, we are putting forth our call for a "justice initiative".
As listeners and board members, we have been appalled at the damage that has been brought upon Pacifica's assets, upon its staff (paid and unpaid), and upon the credibility, the respect, and the support of its listeners.
This damage has been brought by the systematic abuse of power wielded by upper management, and by the lack of transparency, democracy, and oversight of the Board.
A fair resolution to this crisis must include the reversal of this damage, as well as the selection of new leadership that has the confidence of the listener sponsor and the Pacifica Family.
At the Board level, the damage includes the legacy of a majority of members that have been seated by an unfair process, which was forced upon the minority directors. The damage includes the removal of the power of electing board members away from a more democratic system that had previously involved the participation of Local Advisory Boards. The courts are still to judge if this taking of voting power was, as we allege, illegal, on top of being plainly undemocratic and unwise for an organization which survives because of the degree of credibility that it has with its listener sponsors.
All this damage, and the changes achieved by these undemocratic maneuvers, must be reversed. Pacifica must once again have a Board that is accountable to the local communities that it serves.
Additionally, Pacifica must immediately start conforming to basic practices of fair and open procedure as it conducts its meetings; to basic practices of fiduciary oversight, as it relates to providing its board members the necessary information to ascertain the financial health of the organization and to recommend action accrodingly; to the basic practice of management oversight, as it relates to taking swift action when its upper management does not provide adequate accountability, and makes decisions which are not in the best interests of the Foundation.
The importance of Pacifica to the dissenting, alternative voices today is as crucial as it has ever been. Should its Board ask the listener to simply trust that everything is well in spite of signs to the contrary? Or should it be the duty of the members of the Board to clearly and unambiguously demonstrate to the listeners that the values of this important institution are upheld by our own behavior and that of our upper management?
Listener sponsors will respond over the next few weeks to the "peace initiative". We expect that the message to the Pacifica Foundation and to those of us on the Board will continue to be clear.
The damage must be undone. The unfair practices by the Board must be reversed. Our management must be accountable.
Peace with justice. This has been the message that Pacifica brings, and it must be how Pacifica lives.
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