Juan Gonzalez resignation letter

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Wed Jan 31 10:06:38 MST 2001


[Juan Gonzalez resigned this morning from "Democracy Now", the
prize-winning Pacifica news analysis show co-hosted with Amy Goodman.
Gonzalez was a leader of the student strike at Columbia University in 1968
and went on to a career in mainstream news. In the successful strike at the
Daily News  a decade ago, Gonzalez helped to organize a corporate campaign
similar to the one described in his letter below.]

Following is the resignation letter Juan Gonzalez sent to Pacifica
management today, portions of which he read on the air this morning during
the Democracy Now! broadcast.

To: Steve Yasko, Pacifica Director of National Programing
CC: Pacifica Board of Directors
From: Juan Gonzalez Date: 1/31/01

Re: Resignation

This is to notify you that I am resigning as co-host of Democracy Now!
effective immediately.

I take this action with much regret since, as you know, I have worked
alongside host Amy Goodman from the show's inception nearly five  years ago
and am proud of the groundbreaking work we have done to  establish a
national radical news magazine. Even more important, I have listened to
Pacifica programs for more than 30 years and understand the critical role
the network has played in reporting important stories the corporate media
ignored, thus helping to shape progressive thought and popular  movements
throughout the country.

But the current management situation at Pacifica has become intolerable,
and despite my hope that the majority of the Pacifica Foundation board of
directors would come to its senses, the situation has only gotten worse.
The last straw was the Christmas coup at WBAI last month.

Quite simply, the Pacifica board has been hijacked by a small clique that
has more in common with corporate vultures than with working-class
Americans. That clique has illegally changed the Foundation's by-laws, and
during the past two years it has methodically sought to squash dissent
throughout the network -- first at KPFA, then at PNN news, then at
Democracy Now!, and now at WBAI. This group does not respect free  speech.
It does not respect labor or civil rights. It does not even  practice due
process for its own managers. And it is now seeking to  radically alter
Pacifica's by-laws to pave the way for the selling of one or more stations.

Furthermore, this clique insults Pacifica's loyal and sophisticated
listeners by  asking them to finance its shenanigans with their donations.

Starting today, I will be joining other Pacifica listeners in a national
corporate campaign that will not rest until every board member who has
orchestrated this hijacking resigns and a new board is in place -- one that
is democratically accountable to the network's listeners, community and staff.

Our campaign will call for listeners across the country to withhold
donations to Pacifica in a mass referendum against your policies. Instead,
we will urge them to contribute their money to a variety of groups around
the country that are battling the Pacifica board -- including the legal
fund  for court suits which are currently challenging the board's legitimacy.

Mr. Murdock, Mr. Acosta, Mr. Palmer, you will soon find out that Pacifica
is listener-sponsored radio.


Louis Proyect
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