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Pacifica

By Petrino DiLeo and Lee Wengraf | January 4, 2002 | Page 10

NEW YORK--A grassroots movement of listeners and activists is celebrating a recent win in its yearlong battle over control of the Pacifica Radio Network.

Several members of the Pacifica board who were pushing for greater corporate control of the progressive radio network will step down and be replaced by a listener-backed slate. The new board also voted December 29 to return Democracy Now! and host Amy Goodman to the airwaves.

Several Pacifica programmers who led the so-called "Christmas coup" of 2000, which locked out progressive employees at New York's WBAI station, have also been forced to resign.

Under the new agreement, the reform movement will most likely have a nine-to-six majority on a 15-month interim board, during which time the sale of any station is forbidden.

The struggle still has some hurdles to overcome. Directors and programmers from WBAI who were fired have yet to be reinstated, and the gag rule banning on-air discussion of the battle within Pacifica has not been lifted.

Additionally, Goodman has yet to settle outstanding grievances, and unionized stringers are still on strike. "We're feeling very positive, but the battle must still be fought politically, through a grassroots campaign," union activist and new Interim Board Member Ray LaForest told Socialist Worker.

The next meeting for Pacifica supporters will be January 8 at 6 p.m. at WBAI, 120 Wall Street, New York. For more information, go to www.pacificacampaign.org.

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