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KPFA: New Outreach Effort--TV Broadcast on Comcast Channel 29 in S.F.--Whistleblowing...
by Felipe Messina ( messinamorrissey [at] gmail.com )
Thursday Jan 3rd, 2008 2:23 AM
New Outreach Effort--TV Broadcast on Comcast Channel 29 in S.F.--Whistleblowing, possible defamation of character, and the corruption of the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections. "Concerned Listeners" (supported by the non-radical Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club) have sued the Pacifica Foundation and National Elections Supervisor Casey Peters to fast-track a forced certification of the corrupted 2007 KPFA LSB Elections results. When Peters previously penalised Larry Bensky for violations of Fair Campaign Provisions, KPFA management ("Concerned Listeners") ignored the sanction by having Bensky on the air.
Wednesday January 2, 2008

Dear Friends of KPFA/Pacifica (Berkeley, CA),

Some of you may recall my participation with the KPFA Local Station Board (LSB) Elections processes this Fall of 2007 and the subsequent obstruction and violations of Fair Campaign Provisions by various individuals at KPFA, including management, certain staff members, and certain programmers. (Especially, if you read the Fulcrumsofchange Digest, Vol 7, Issue 24, dated 12.24.07.) I am still hoping to shed some light on the corruption of these Elections as well as upon my own personal experiences (of defamation of character) as further example of the blatant corruption at KPFA. If current plans go without incident, a small step will be taken toward that end.

I have been invited to a televised interview and panel discussion on the corruption of the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections. This shall be aired Wednesday (01.03.08) on San Francisco Comcast Channel 29 at 7:30 pm. It is my understanding that other KPFA LSB Members and Candidates will participate in the proposed panel interview and discussion. If you are interested in the protection of fair and transparent participatory democratic process in free-speech, grass-roots independent media, please tune in and ask friends and family to tune in as well.

It is important for people to begin asking what connections the centrist Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club (Berkeley, CA - http://www.wellstoneclub.org/) has with regard to supporting the so-called "Concerned Listeners" and increasingly manipulating the direction of KPFA/Pacifica. It is becoming clear that this rather mainstream political group, apparently funded and supported by middle-of-the-road Democrats, is in turn funding "Concerned Listeners." This funding, it seems, is also funding the corruption of KPFA/Pacifica away from a grass-roots ethic or radical activist sociopolitical perspective (e.g. the $10k plus elitist move of mailing propaganda to KPFA listeners whilst the other grass-roots candidates weren't being funded by deep pockets) and towards an anti-activist, anti-listener-involvement, softened mainstream or Democrat sociopolitical slant (see Nov. '07 newsletter, p. 3 - http://www.wellstoneclub.org/PDFs/wdrcNews_Nov07.pdf). Of course, it is widely understood that the Democrats, like the Republicans, are one of the political parties of the elites. What are Democrats doing at KPFA? A place traditionally a home for activists, pacifists, anarchists, artists, and journalists, not elitist Democrats. The notion of Democrats running Pacifica (pacifist/anarchist, hence the name) is laughable and antithetical to the very definition of Pacifica. Whereas, KPFA/Pacifica has traditionally been a home for the voices of dissent, of the silenced, of activists, today we are witnessing a complete u-turn.

Similarly, I must persevere in shedding light on the continuing intimidation and false accusations leveled against me and others by certain individuals at KPFA and members of the KPFA LSB, particularly supporters of the so-called "Concerned Listeners." For example, Sarv Randhawa (member of the KPFA LSB and the Pacifica National Board) is captured on DVD camera footage accusing me of being a "stalker" through vague hearsay and insidious questioning and baiting at the recent KPFA LSB meeting (12.15.07) in Berkeley. When I asked Randhawa from whom or where he heard these accusations, he feigned amnesia. This appears to be an attempt to intimidate me from attending KPFA LSB meetings or from pursuing participation within KPFA/Pacifica, despite my decades-long support of KPFA/Pacifica. I have recently heard from others who have experienced similar baiting questions and accusations by other dominant figures within the, unfortunately, corrupted power structure at KPFA. This is apparently an old tactic. Worse, others at the KPFA LSB meeting (12.15.07) seemed to be under the impression these accusations had merit due to the pervasiveness of this smear campaign to intimidate and discredit witnesses and volunteers of the Elections processes. This, of course, is extremely frustrating and problematic as it invariably causes sincerely interested would-be volunteers and participants harm. The common denominator is invariably "Concerned Listeners" and by extension the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club (a group I've heard Kris Welch on the KPFA program "Living Room" promoting, yet one is hard-pressed to find mentions of truly grass-roots, boots-on-the-ground activists on KPFA airwaves anymore).

It must be known, the KPFA interim Program Director (iPD), Sasha Lilley circulated an e-mail (11.12.07) around KPFA falsely accusing me of misrepresentation and seeming "disturbed." If there were ever any questions, Lilley never made any attempts to communicate with me, especially when I was at the receptionist's desk of KPFA (11.12.07) pleading to have my questions answered--all I got was stonewalled, ejected, and "banned." If there were any truth in Lilley's claims I'd be registered in some police log or in jail by now. Ironically, she and interim General Manager Lemlem Rijio were the ones to encourage me to get involved by actually soliciting me live on the air to come to the station with my resume to apply for a position at KPFA (listen at http://kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=22698). Soon, thereafter, I began attending KPFA LSB meetings and volunteering; and not several weeks later I was put on a "banned" list for obviously political reasons and going against the grain, for remembering the important thing is to not stop questioning. The allegations and psychological suggestions of disinformation are all politically motivated and baseless. As far as I know, no charges have been filed against me because all of the accusations are bogus. I only made a cursory search of my name in the Alameda County Government Court websites, but nothing came up.

Nevertheless, I am humbly searching for any legal advice or counsel. I know these accusations and slanders are all bogus, but I nevertheless need to clear my name and must insist on demanding a formal apology from iPD Sasha Lilley (not to mention seeking redress for the matter of protecting fair democratic processes at KPFA/Pacifica). If you are in a position to help in any way (or know anyone who can), I sincerely request any help possible. I am the first one calling for a thorough investigation by independent arbiters or authorities. It is time for the listeners to rise up and demand the truth, transparency, and true participatory democracy in the governance of KPFA/Pacifica. In this spirit, please consider checking the tv broadcast this Wednesday (01.03.08) on San Francisco Comcast Channel 29 at 7:30 pm. It is my understanding this will also be broadcast in Sacramento, St. Louis (cable channel 22), and Philadelphia (Drexel TV 54) as well as be available for viewing on-line.

In solidarity for peace, democracy, and social & economic justice,

Felipe Messina

p.s.
For more information please contact me and/or check these links:
http://www.indybay.org/indymedia/

KPFA New Outreach Effort: Whistleblowing, possible defamation of character, and the corruption of the 2007 KPFA LSB Elections
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/12/21/18468328.php

KPFA Election: Gross Violations Detailed in Open Letter
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/12/08/18465727.php

"Concerned Listeners" Supporters-Candidates Sue Pacifica To Cover-up Election Misdeeds
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/12/23/18468602.php

"C.L" Supporter Bensky Banned From KPFA Airwaves For Violating Election Rules
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/11/21/18462672.php

KPFA election: When Progressives Cheat
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/11/30/18464478.php?show_comments=1#comments
http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/article.cfm?issue=11-27-07&storyID=28570

Why Is Lasar, "Concerned Listeners" Supporter, Allowed To Control This Discourse?
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/12/14/18466910.php?show_comments=1#18468666

KPFA "Concerned Listener" Supporter David Bacon Censors Out SEIU Corporate Unionism
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/01/02/18469685.php

To subscribe to the "Fulcrums of Change" e-mail list via the World Wide Web, visit
http://lists.pacificana.org/listinfo.cgi/fulcrumsofchange-pacificana.org

Comments  (Hide Comments)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Please note a correction, the program will be produced/recorded today for broadcast at a later date.

Do stay tuned to San Francisco Comcast Channel 29 for this upcoming special broadcast. For more information, please feel free to send me questions and comments via e-mail. "The important thing is not to stop questioning," as C.S. Soong likes to say (quoting Albert Einstein).

Sincerely,

Felipe Messina
by Independent Voter
Sunday Jan 6th, 2008 12:20 AM
felipe, if that is who you are, you are in for such a letdown someday, when your "new" friends -- just guessing? steve zeltzer and the PR crowd behind blowhard Richard Phelpos -- dumps you as soon as you are no longer useful to them.

You spend a lot of time trying to connect the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club to KPFA and mis-identifying both as "centrist" or mainstream Democratic Party interests. I know many members of the WDRC that no one in their right mind would refer to as "centrist" or "mainstream." They *are* respected "boots on the ground" activists. Continued "big lie" tactics (which agency do you work for?) against WDRC because of KPFA election results can only serve to harm their work as activists. perhaps that's the intention.

Above, you also state that those who dare to register as Democrats have no place at KPFA. Is your goal to surreptitiously make KPFA the house organ of the Peace and Freedom Party? Your new-found "friends" on the LSB will publicly say that the KPFA belongs to no party, though some of them are active P&F party organizers clearly working toward that end (and not just at KPFA).

You and your friends would "fire and ban" Democratic party registrants in order to take the station for the Peace & Freedom Party? Or are you just interested in revenge against those who apparently didn't approve of your Svengali like behavior with the Local Election Supervisor? Surely you are being used by the small core of hardcase ideologues who claim to speak for all members -- they don't "adopt" one unless they think one may be useful to them.

I think Ms. Jenkins' assessment of your behaviour is needed before anyone can take your obviously scripted accusations seriously.

I have no horse in this race, but am close enough to know you've been suckered.

I.V.
by Stan Woods
Tuesday Jan 8th, 2008 10:21 AM
Just when i thought i've heard every possible ridiculous charge vis a vis those of fighting for democracy and transparentcy at KPFA/Pacifica here comes a new one . That we want to seize the station for Peace and Freedom party . No we do not . What we do want to see , whether we're registered PFP, Greens, Independent or Democrat, is fair coverage of parties and independent candidates to the left of the two corporate dominated parties . Sadly KPFA is dominated by a clique that blatently discriminates against both the Greens and PFP .
One of many examples occurred during the Guberatorial recall campaign . Peter Camejo commented that he received far more and fairer coverage on Fox owned Channel Two Tv than he did on the '' Voice of the Voiceless'' KPFA ! It continues today . The discussion on the air waves never mentions the fact that , for example, that former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has left the Democrats , joined the Greens and will appear on both the Greens and PFP Presidential primary ballot in California .( Hopefully the PFP Pres. candidate forum at the Brava theatre S.F. 2pm 1/12 and The Greens Forum Herbst Theatre S.F. 1/13 (same time ) will be announced on air . )
During this election year we will push for overturning this defacto exclusion of candidates who, after all , have far more in common in terms of idelogy,class, and basic core principles with your average KPFA listener than practically any Democrat Pol. Something that would be a real service to KPFA listeners would be on air debates. How about a live debate between Cindy Sheehan , Nancy Pelosi (and whatever sacificial lamb the Republicans run for that seat ) ? Of course '' Nancy '' (as some programmers call Pelosi, They apparently like to pretend they're on a first name basis with the Multi-Millionaire Speaker of the House ) will almost certainly decline . But the broadcast should still go on , all that fair campaign practices require is that all candiates should be given an opportunity to appear.
We would also like to see coverage of what '' Third parties '' do between major elections . That's very rarely broadcast on 94.1
So no conspiracies . Just a determination that KPFA consistenty acts like a real alternative to the capitalist media .
Related to the issue of excluded or diminished third party coverage and access that Stan Woods raises and discusses in the previous comment, there are fundamental problems with the disproportionate presence and influence at KPFA of the big D Democrat Party (DP) supporters and apologists, as well as left establishment notables, including Norman Solomon, Doug Henwood, Sasha Lilley, Larry Bensky, Phillip Maldari, David Bacon and other news/public affairs department managers and staff.

The question is not, as asserted by “Independent Voter,” whether liberal Democrats or progressive activists who choose to work through the Democrat Party (DP), notably some of the Concerned Listeners (CL) and other members of the Wellstone Democrat Renewal Club (WDRC), have a place in the KPFA community, obviously they do. In some Bay Area communities, notably San Francisco prior to the emergency of the Green Party and Matt Gonzalez, progressive politics had been pretty much Democrat Central Committee and Democrat club politics. Up to the 1999 KPFA crisis I was active in the UFW SF Support Committee and Potrero Hill Democratic Club (but walked my last precinct for Democrats after the club endorsed Clinton for a 2nd term and Gov Gray Davis also became intolerable from a progressive perspective). So in this respect with his critical assessment of the WDRC here and in other writings, Felipe Messina may be somewhat, although not entirely, overstating the case (more in a later comment on his role as a volunteer in the LSB election, banned and smeared by management). I can’t comment from direct experience beyond the KPFA candidates and manager (Lilley) with club roots but my general impression is the WDRC is neither typical of nor beyond the reach of the mainstream national DP (and it’s corporate interests and support) at election time.

On the other hand, the typically anonymous “Independent Voter” goes too far, not only as Stan notes in unfounded speculation or idiocy about the Peace and Freedom Party taking over KPFA, but also in identifying CLers as the real “boots on the ground activists”. They may be respected activists in their community organizations and business unions, but at KPFA/Pacifica the CL candidates elected to the LSB for the first time in 2006 and 2007 have been practically unknown and missing in action. It’s fair to ask: where were they in the 1990s and 1999-2002 when Pacifica and KPFA really needed them, when the listener and volunteer staff activists of Take Back KPFA, Coalition for democratic Pacifica (CdP), North Bay for KPFA and other grass roots groups organized, agitated, worked and acted against the old Pacifica regime hijackers? Were they on the lines when we picketed and forced old PNB hijackers to resign, when we picketed the Pacifica law firm, when we boycotted to cut off their funding - and so on? Where were the Concerned Listeners in the early 2000s when CdP and other activists developed and established the new Pacifica bylaws, democratic institutions, democratic elections and elected governing boards that they now presume to serve on and lead? In fact did they even attend any meetings, work on committees of or become familiar with the business and issues of the new elected LAB and LSB? Sure two recently re-elected CL “notables” were around: Sherry Gendelman had an important legal/political role and Sarv Randhawa was a CdP member, but they hardly if ever had their “boots on the ground” or the grass roots or served as champions of listener democracy (in fact Sherry publicly opposed elected boards); the hard “grunt work” of organization, political street action, boycott and elections was left to the rest, to hundreds of us nationally. Maybe somehow I missed the new CL class of 2006-2007 but never saw or heard of them in the Free Pacifica, listener democracy movements, or at a single LAB or LSB meeting until Conn Hallinan and a few other CLers showed up for one before the 2006 election.

Back to the main point (as introduced at the top of this comment), from recent Pacifica history and LSB elections at KPFA and KPFK and from monitoring news and public affairs programs on KPFA over the years, we know there is a potential for and actual corruption of the Pacifica Mission of peace and social justice when: 1) coverage and analysis of government and electoral politics is reduced and focused almost exclusively on traditional two party politics and the candidates offered by the two corporate parties - that both support and serve the American Empire, the so called War on Terror, continuing wars on and occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Haiti …, threats of expanding the war to Iran, on and on - especially in the lead up to the Congressional and Presidential elections every two and four years; and 2) corporate interests and/or Democratic party/club members and operatives organize and collaborate with station and network management to gain disproportionate access to, influence and control of Pacifica democratic governance and institutions, as well as public affairs programming.

In many ways both subtle and blatant, and for as long as I can recall as a regular KPFA listener before and after the 1st war on Iraq, we are continually, especially in election years (i. e. every other year) urged and reminded by programmers, guest commentators and news items of the practical necessity of supporting the Democratic party alternative as the “lesser of 2 evils,” the extra inch of slack that the underclass lives within, appointer of moderate Supreme Court justices, whatever. Radical, left progressive or third party candidates, politics and actions - such as Kucinich, Nader, Green Party campaigns, 9/11 Truth and the Million Worker March of summer 2004 - are generally if not entirely marginalized, ridiculed or treated as distractions from this supposed practical necessity. Yet we all know the Democratic national candidates of the conservative leaning Democrat Leadership Council who we are encouraged or led by default to embrace – Bill Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Hillary Clinton - have consistently joined with their Republican counterparts in bringing us corporate welfare, international chaos, war and repression and in undermining our class interests, democracy and social justice, planetary peace and survival. They say we have to go with moderate Democrats or we’ll be in deeper shit, as if we haven’t had a full dose and loads of it under the last extended Democrat administration, including NAFTA, welfare deform, “reinventing government” (downsizing public services and assistance programs), anti-terrorism national security legislation and structures that paved the way for the Patriot Act regime, bombing and sanctions that wiped out a generation of Iraqis. Can we really expect much different from Hillary who always supported these wars and occupations, or from Obama who has supported bombing Iran? The issue is not a lack of political alternatives to the Democrats or the nightmares and extreme evils of the Bush/Republican/Neo-Con administration. For us as progressives and members of a radio media founded by pacifists to promote world peace through interracial, intercultural understanding and education, the primary problem and issue is simply this: when Pacifica provides extensive air time, news and political commentary support for pro-war corporate candidates and office holders, the Pacifica mission is corrupted at the deepest, most fundamental level.

Yet we have seen and experienced, as a major force and factor in Pacifica over the last 2 decades at least, the infiltration of state, corporate and DP interests and influence, operatives and supporters: first, the old regime PNB/management hijackers, then continuing with entrenched staff and left establishment influence and control through the new bylaws regime and partial democratization period at KPFA and other stations, and currently being consolidated against the perceived listener and volunteer staff democratic intrusions through a management/key staff power clique collusion with DP progressive club and caucus based groups, notably Concerned Listeners at KPFA and the Committee to Strengthen KPFK.

For examples, while serving as chair of the old Pacifica PNB, Mary Francis Berry was the Clinton administration appointed head of the federal Civil Rights Commission; ED Lynn Chadwick chided and discouraged programmers’ criticisms of President Clinton; Norman Solomon, who alternately supported Clinton and made money writing a book criticizing his Presidency as “false hope,” led the debate and attack on Ralph Nader and the Greens in favor of the Kerry campaign in 2004, while at the same time Larry Bensky denigrated and discouraged participation in the Million Worker March (organized and supported by local labor and radical leaders Clarence Thomas and Ralph Schoenman). Of course, Bensky and Solomon, as well as Lilley mentor and ally Doug Henwood, also spearhead the censorship and marginalization of the 9/11 Truth movement. Radical programs like Guns and Butter and Flashpoints are the exceptions, surviving various attacks, marginalization, lack of resources and management support through grass roots support and revenue to the station. Meanwhile KPFA and Pacifica news and public affairs programs continue to dutifully and constantly cover the corporate party horse race primaries and campaigns.

One critical question for the new KPFA and KPFK LSBs including their progressive Democrat members, besides their legitimacy of selection through corrupt election processes, is whether they are committed to protecting and promoting the progressive Pacifica mission rather than the status quo centrist, moderate to liberal interests and programs of their DP affiliations and allies.
by C. T. Weber
Thursday Jan 10th, 2008 9:43 PM
If the Democratic Party has Air America and if the Democratic Party has Pacifica, and they both squeeze out the voiceless (Peace and Freedom Party), then outside of one corporation having members and the other advertising, what is the difference? The voiceless people do not have a place to get their messages out. In fact, mainstreem corporate media gives the small parties more coverage than Pacifica.
by Union and proud
Friday Jan 11th, 2008 10:33 AM
Hold the presses ! The author of the previous post identified themselves as a regional director of CSEA . Which is part of the SEIU . Who's top leader Andrew Stern once was quoted '' We (SEIU) are part of the Democratic party and our members want it that way ''. Congrats to CT Weber for taking a stand for a truly progressive electoral party . I hope Stern and Sal Rosseli don't push you out of your office for that stand !

Note: Besides a reply to Felipe Messina and his article, this comment is a complimentary or alternative perspective and response to some recent comments on Pacifica discussion lists including:

Kevin White (Dec 31 Re:SAWAYA WON'T TELL! And the pseudo "insiders" play their secretive games):
“The main forces who brought in democracy, really wanted power. Now that they have power, they have no need for democracy.”

Melinda Iley-Dohn. Dec 31 ([PacificaRadiowaves] SAWAYA WON'T TELL!):
"Some things are not meant for the peanut gallery. Personnel issues are at the top of the list. All will be known in due time."
(As an old Howdy Dody for President kid I could take offense, maybe the Peanut Gallery was our first democratic assembly.)

Nalini (Jan 1 Re: Melinda Iley-Dohn and Others Missing In Action):
"If being part of the so-called 'original movement to save Pacifica' is your big claim to fame, that's just sad. The 'movement' has only been destructive. It has been a colossal failure."



Felipe Messina wrote:

Similarly, I must persevere in shedding light on the continuing intimidation and false accusations leveled against me and others by certain individuals at KPFA and members of the KPFA LSB, particularly supporters of the so-called "Concerned Listeners." For example, Sarv Randhawa (member of the KPFA LSB and the Pacifica National Board) is captured on DVD camera footage accusing me of being a "stalker" through vague hearsay and insidious questioning and baiting at the recent KPFA LSB meeting (12.15.07) in Berkeley. When I asked Randhawa from whom or where he heard these accusations, he feigned amnesia. This appears to be an attempt to intimidate me from attending KPFA LSB meetings or from pursuing participation within KPFA/Pacifica, despite my decades-long support of KPFA/Pacifica. I have recently heard from others who have experienced similar baiting questions and accusations by other dominant figures within the, unfortunately, corrupted power structure at KPFA. This is apparently an old tactic. Worse, others at the KPFA LSB meeting (12.15.07) seemed to be under the impression these accusations had merit due to the pervasiveness of this smear campaign to intimidate and discredit witnesses and volunteers of the Elections processes. This, of course, is extremely frustrating and problematic as it invariably causes sincerely interested would-be volunteers and participants harm. The common denominator is invariably "Concerned Listeners" ….


Felipe,

You're in good company and must be doing something right (like uncovering and exposing their b s and power moves) when opportunistic, hypocritical hacks like Sarv Randhawa and Sasha Lilley get in your face or spread slander. Two recent examples from being on the receiving end:

On Nov 13, the day after you were confronted with being smeared and banned from the station and three days after I appeared on the Nov 10 on-air KPFA candidate forum and criticized station management interventions and actions undermining governance and program decision making, democratic process and institutions, a late campaign hit piece was posted on Indybay/media in the name of Lilley’s mentor and ally Doug Henwood (Left Business Observer) - see “anti-semitic candidate for kpfa lsb/holocaust denalist’s premium defended by bob english” http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/11/13/18460795.php . The “anti-semitic” label has no basis in fact or in the commentary reproduced. Henwood, who lives in NYC, was interviewed by phone on the Morning Show the same morning, and I suspect talked to Lilley and other station cronies about doing the posting. Note that Lilley as iPD recently informed the KPFA Program Council (stripped of program decision making power by Lilley) of a new program in the works: “The Doug Henwood Hour” (I can’t wait).

Outside the KPFA Crafts Fair Dec 9, I was stalked and taunted by Sarv while leafleting the “OPEN LETTER FROM THE COMMITTEE ON FAIR ELECTIONS: BYLAWS & RULES VIOLATED IN KPFA BOARD ELECTION” (published in the Berkeley Daily Planet today Jan 11, in the SF Bayview Dec 14). We had a disagreement about the fairness and validity of the election; I said I was busy and didn’t want to talk to him about elections or anything else because he was a sell out to the listener movement (more on that below); at that he flipped out, screamed “go fuck yourself” and berated me as a losing candidate; trying to keep cool I replied that the election issues aren’t about me personally and continued passing out leaflets (hundreds that day) until he got tired of hearing himself and went away.

Briefly, the background on Sarv the Stalker/Sell Out - this may be the first time I’ve written publicly on this unpleasant, sickening subject: We met Sarv in 1999-2000 at the Coalition for a democratic Pacifica (CdP), the primary East Bay/SF listener activist organization fighting the “old Pacifica” hijackers that went on to develop, establish and maintain democratic board elections even before the “new Pacifica” bylaws. Sarv was always a friendly, smiling face but, looking back and as far as I know, never did much if any activism work beyond showing up at general meetings, didn’t work on committees, didn’t show up for picketing PNB members and Epstein, Becker and Green (old regime law firm) or other actions. My wife Linda remembers asking him to help with a Free Speech Radio News fundraising project we organized within CdP; he agreed but did nothing. Still in the first LSB election we were happy to see a familiar CdP comrade on the ballot and like other trusting folks voted for him.

In other words, Sarv was elected primarily with the support of listener activists who were working toward Pacifica democracy, listener representation and participation in governance and decision making for community based programming. But as soon elected he aggressively positioned himself for the PNB and turned his back on former CdP friends and allies, refusing requests to meet and develop a democratic governance agenda. He also started sucking up to station management and staff, voting with the staff reps block (with other listener reps including Sherry G, Annie H and Mark H as forerunners of the Concerned Listeners), allied with ED Dan Coughlin and the JUC in the “New Pacifica” personal power politics, opposed introduction of democracy and accountability (e.g. voting against Directors inspection rights) and helped protect, preserve and carry forward much of the essentials (with variations and some new players) of the old Pacifica status quo (entrenched management/ staff power structure and programming content/form established under the hijacker regime). In fact, it was reading the LSB voting record of former CdP Sarv and Mary Berg et. al. that motivated Linda and I to return to Pacifica activism.

But what an awful, depressing change of scene and lesson: that people who were united in the Free Pacifica movement were not after all working for the same collective end and democratic vision, that some like Sarv were in fact opportunists positioning for personal power. So from our KPFA viewpoint, the “main forces who brought in democracy,” didn’t all uniformly sell out democracy for power but instead have moved in different directions and positions: yes, some sold out, while others gave up and moved on in heartbreak and disgust, and some of us are still hanging in there fighting for democracy and listener empowerment. That story is still being written and told.

Bob English
Active from 1999 with KPFA, Free Pacifica, Coalition for a democratic Pacifica (CdP) and Peoples Radio