Banning dissent at Pacifica?

Before votes in KPFA’s local board election are even counted, Tracy Rosenberg and her allies at the national level continue to do damage to Pacifica’s structure and mission. Earlier this week, the Pacifica National Board, which is dominated by Rosenberg and her allies, passed a measure that prohibits those who dissent from Rosenberg’s agenda from serving on local or national boards.

“The resolution banning those deemed ‘disloyal’ which was presented to the board by Tracy is pure McCarthy era,” noted Sasha Futran, KPFA’s former Local Station Board vice chair. “The appeal process is a sham, as any appeals would go to the very people who took after them for political reasons in the first place. This is the kind of divisiveness that is tearing Pacifica apart. Tracy has a big hand, perhaps the biggest, in that process,” added Futran, who was a member of Rosenberg’s slate at one time, before leaving it to join SaveKPFA.

Listeners pledging for KPFA Morning Show

A few of the hundreds of KPFA listeners who pledged to help bring back the Morning Show in 2011.

The measure is aimed squarely at 4 SaveKPFA members — Margy Wilkinson, Dan Siegel, Mal Burnstein and Conn Hallinan — for their role in collecting over $60,000 in pledges to restore the KPFA Morning Show and rehire its laid off co-hosts back in 2010-2011. They raised only pledges of support, not actual money. Nevertheless, the “Morning Show 4″ were slapped with a lawsuit by Rosenberg allies Richard Phelps and Daniel Borgstrom, who allege such fundraising activity was “disloyal” to Pacifica. Phelps and Borgstrom are demanding these four listeners pay Pacifica “damages” of $800,000.

The proposal from Pacifica’s governance committee would ban anyone whose actions have been declared by a court of law to be breaches of “loyalty,” “fiduciary duty,” or “duty of care” from holding any office in Pacifica. Rosenberg has been publicly predicting victory in the Morning Show 4 case, and it’s transparent her intent is to get rid of her political opponents.

“Do you have any conscience?” wrote one KFPA listener to Rosenberg recently when the lawsuit came up for public discussion recently. “You’re supporting a horrendous attack on 4 KPFA listeners who were simply trying, like generations before them, to support KPFA in a time of crisis.”

Rosenberg’s allies have been issuing gag rules against KPFA’s unpaid and paid staff; now they are going after listeners too. “Banning people, gag rules, anti-union law firms eating up the station’s cash — where have we heard this before?” asked KPFA listener Alison Davis. “In 1999, the last time the network was taken over.”

ACTION ALERT: IT’S TIME TO SPEAK UP! Please take a minute to send an email to Pacifica’s board members demanding they rescind this “loyalty” measure immediately. CLICK HERE to send a sample email (or write your own): “Branding dedicated KPFA members as ‘disloyal’ because they asked for pledges of support for KPFA programming is truly appalling. For the 10 PNB members who opposed this measure: thank you for upholding the spirit of Pacifica. For those who voted for it: I demand that you rescind this McCarthyite loyalty measure immediately and stop trying to punish dedicated members simply because you disagree with them.”

This is about KPFA’s foundational principles of free speech and political dissent. “If a measure like this actually ends up being adopted, Pacifica’s founder Lew Hill would not even recognize the radio network he created,” added Futran.

KPFA’s Tracy Rosenberg promoted and voted for the “disloyalty” measure, which was written by WBAI delegates Kathy Davis and Alex Steinberg and KPFT delegate Bill Crosier.

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