Democracy Now! January 14, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! January 14, 2002
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9:01-9:06 HEADLINES 9:06-9:07 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:20 WHOSE STATION? OUR STATION! A MAJOR VICTORY FOR THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA MOVEMENT AS THE INTERIM PACIFICA NATIONAL BOARD VOTES TO RESTORE THE FIRED AND BANNED PRODUCERS TO NEW YORK STATION WBAI Well, the independent media movement has won a major victory. This weekend, the interim national board of the Pacifica Radio foundation voted to restore dozens of fired and banned producers to New York station WBAI. The board also chose Dan Coughlin, as its interim Executive Director. In 1999, Coughlin was ousted from his position as Pacifica news director, for including a short report on Pacifica protests in the Pacifica Network News. Pacifica Radio was founded just after World War II in Berkeley, California, by pacifist Lew Hill, who felt the corporate-owned media were beating the drums for a third world war, because media profits from war. Over the years, Pacifica grew into a progressive, national network of five radio stations and dozens of affiliate stations. But the network has been in turmoil for the last few years. In 1999, the national board voted to change its bylaws, so that board members would no longer be chosen by the local advisory boards of the five stations, but would rather be chosen by national board members themselves - in other words, the national board became self-selecting. There was also a proposal to amend the bylaws so that individual board members could personally profit from selling Pacificas stations. One of the most vocal opponents of this move was the station manager at Pacifica station KPFA in Berkeley, Nicole Sawaya. She was promptly removed. Massive protests erupted there, and Pacifica management chained KPFA shut for three weeks in July 1999, provoking the largest protests that city had seen since the Vietnam War. 15,000 people marched in the streets, and the station re-opened. Pacifica management moved their headquarters to Washington, D.C. Last year, Pacifica management moved in on WBAI in New York, with security guards, late night lock changes, new management, and firings and bannings of longtime producers. Over the next year, dozens more were fired and banned from the station. Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzalez resigned in January in order to lead a campaign to restore Pacifica to its original mission. We are overjoyed to have Juan Gonzalez with us here today, as he rejoins Democracy Now! as co-host. TAPE: resignation of Juan Gonzalez, January 31, 2001. As Pacifica approached bankruptcy and tremendous listener pressure forced several board members to resign, an historic settlement was reached last month between Pacifica and the listeners, dissident board members and local advisory board members who were suing the foundation. In exchange for dropping the lawsuits, Pacifica agreed to reconstitute the national board. Five people from the former board majority, five dissident board members, and five people from the local advisory boards (one from each station area), became the new interim board. The new board held a meeting by telephone two weeks ago, and voted to restore Democracy Now! to Pacificas airwaves. But our home station, WBAI continued its policy of censorship and banning, and refused to air the program.Well, the interim National Board held its first face-to-face meeting in New York over the weekend. Hundreds of people packed into the Hotel Trades Council Union hall. The high point of the meeting came on Saturday night when the interim board majority overcame the repeated objections of three of its members, and, under severe time pressure, voted to oust WBAI station manager Bob Daughtry and to restore all of the fired and banned workers to their original staff positions at WBAI. TAPE: INTERIM NATIONAL BOARD, voting to restore the fired and banned to New York station WBAI 9:20-9:21 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:21-9:40 WHOSE STATION? OUR STATION!, contd GUEST: LESLIE CAGAN, Interim Chair of the Pacifica National Board TAPE: FAHIMA SECK, programmer at Pacifica station WPFW in Washington, D.C. 9:40-9:41 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:41-9:45 BOARD CHOOSES PACIFICA REFORM LEADER DAN COUGHLIN AS THE NEW INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR On Sunday, the board voted to hire Dan Coughlin as its new interim Executive Director. Dan is a leader of the reform movement to restore Pacifica to its original mission. He had previously worked as a producer of Democracy Now! and then as Pacifica national news director. He was removed from his position as news director after running a 40 second news story on the Pacifica affiliates protesting the network. TAPE: DAN COUGHLIN, Pacifica National Board Meeting, 1/13/02 9:45-9:58 REWINDING THE NUCLEAR CLOCK: TODAY WE LOOK AT BUSHS DECISION TO BACK OUT OF A DISARMAMENT AGREEMENT, RESUME UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR TESTING, AND TURN AN ANCIENT VOLCANO INTO THE NATIONS NUCLEAR DUMP While the Pacifica Campaign and other free speech radio activists were preparing to make history last week, the Bush Administration was busy trying to undo history. Following other moves to bring the country back to an earlier, more war-like era, the administration set about rewinding the nuclear clock, erasing some of the fragile gains made by the anti-nuclear movement over the last few decades. The rewind began in earnest on Tuesday, when the Administration published its annual Nuclear Posture Review. In the document, the President announced that he did not intend to destroy some 4000 nuclear warheads, as Bush had promised Russian President Vladmir Putin in their arms talks in November. Instead, he declared that the United States would de-activate and then store the weapons, effectively putting them on hold for a later date. The announcement has only further incensed the Russians, who were already angered by the administrations decision to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty just weeks ago. At the same time, and in the same document, the administration also raised the possibility that it would resume underground nuclear testing in the years ahead. The United States has refrained from such tests since 1992, when Bush senior placed a moratorium on underground explosions. Up until that point, the government had launched regular underground tests at the Nevada Test Site, an infamous sprawl of nuclear and conventional weapons laboratories as well as waste storage facilities in the middle of Shoshone Nation lands. Should tests resume, the administration would be in violation not only of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty but also the 1863 Ruby Valley Treaty with the Shoshone. But last weeks nuclear back-pedaling did not stop there. On Thursday, the Secretary of the Department of Energy, Spencer Abraham, formally recommended that Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, be used to bury thousands of tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste. Arguing that national security after Sept. 11 required a safe storage site, Abraham put an end to the years long search for a super, one-stop nuclear dump, capable of storing the nations waste. Yucca Mountain is an ancient volcano that lies in the heart of Shoshone territory, just 90 miles from Las Vegas. It has long been considered a sacred site by the Shoshone. GUEST: SUSI SNYDER, Program Manager, Shundahai Network. Susi Snyder was recently declared a Las Vegas Hero by the local City Weekly paper for her work to shut down the Nevada Test Site. She spent 10 days in jail this year for organizing a blockade of the test site to protest the subcritical nuclear weapons tests, and she chained herself to the overhang above the main entrance to the Las Vegas Federal Building in 1998 to protest the nuclear weapons programs.PHONE: (347) 423-5183 (only for this week). Also reachable through Reinard Knudson at (801) 359-2614 CONTACT: GUEST: IAN ZABARTE, Secretary of State for the Western Shoshone National Council which has always opposed U.S. nuclear programs and the military ccupation of their lands. He lives at Cactus Springs Nevada, which is about 18 miles from the Nevada Test Site.PHONE: (cell) (702) 592-8699 GUEST: ALICE SLATER, Director, Global Resource and Action Center for the Environment. She is on the Board of directors of the Global Network to Keep Space for Peace and the U.S. Nuclear Abolition Campaign.PHONE: (w) (212) 744-2005 or (h) (212) 726-9161 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS

Date Recorded on: 
January 14, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
January 14, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. January 14, 2002
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