Confidential #6 – 3/2/05

Bulletin #6
Wednesday, March 2, 2005
Please feel free to distribute.
www.struggle-and-win.net

THE WAR ON FREEDOM
 1. Grandmothers of Henoko vs. US military.
2. International Women’s Day March vs. US military.
3. Youth vs. US military.
4. Rumsfeld strong-arms German investigation of US war crimes.
5. John Yoo, Bush administration torture defender, wimps out.
6. New York City officials subpoena names from the National Lawyers Guild.

FREE SPEECH RADIO
 7. Join us: delegation to deliver petition to return Bill Mandel to KPFA’s airwaves.
8. Democracy Now! time change delayed yet again?
9. Stealth KPFA Local Station Board Radio Hour.
10. Churches gobble up micro-radio frequencies.

1. Grandmothers of Henoko vs. US military.

A brave group of women and elders are holding off an attempt by the US military to build an offshore military base in the pristine waters, atop a coral reef, off Henoko in Okinawa. Already, 20% of Okinawa is covered by military bases.

Anti-military activists, some as old as 90, sat in at Japanese government offices in opposition to the new base, occupied the beachfront for more than 250 days, and held a 20-day hunger strike. When drilling platforms arrived, the resistance moved offshore. Former city council member Suzuyo Takazato tells of many women and elders, including 70-year-olds, donning wet suits to disrupt attempts to bore holes in the sea floor, maneuvering row boats to block construction workers, and occupying drilling platforms. The military has not yet been able to install a single drilling engine on any of its platforms. The planned military base would, among other things, threaten the endangered dugong, a sea mammal that is a symbol of peace to the Japanese people. More info at www.progressiveportal.org/report.html.

2. International Women’s Day March vs. US military.

On International Women’s Day, Tuesday, March 8, there will be a march in San Francisco, initiated by the Global Women’s Strike, and sponsored by ANSWER, California Prison Focus, Haiti Action Committee, Venezuela Solidarity Group, Tri Valley Cares, and many more. Global Women’s Strike is coordinating International Women’s Day events in over sixty countries.

The SF march will begin at 3:00pm at City Hall, and will proceed to the Hall of Justice on Bryant Street for a rally at 4:00pm. The march will include a contingent of 22 people, each holding a sign identifying a country the US has bombed since 1945, inspired by recent anti-Bush demonstrators in Belgium.


If you want to join this contingent, along with members of the Gray Panthers, Global Exchange and others, email me at [email protected] For more info about the march, see www.globalwomenstrike.net/English2004/DefendCaringEconomy.htm.

3. Youth vs. US military.

The San Francisco School Board recently heard impassioned testimony from mothers and other activists who don’t want our children recruited by the US military to maim and kill other children. School Board members, reminded that 63% of San Franciscans voted to bring the troops home from Iraq, agreed to place the issue of military recruitment in our schools on the agenda for their next meeting. Please come to the next board meeting, on Tuesday, March 8 at 7:00pm, at 555 Franklin Street.

Meanwhile, last week authorities at Kennedy High School in Minnesota, under pressure from the American Legion, banned a student group Youth Against War and Racism from setting up a counter-recruitment table, even while allowing military recruiters unfettered access to the school. The students had previously set up a table when the military recruiters were there, and obtained over 230 student signatures against military recruiters being allowed on campus. The Superintendent is even threatening to ban the youth group. People are urged to protest by calling Superintendent Gary Prest (952-681-6402) and Principal Ronald Simmons (952-681-5050).

4. Rumsfeld strong-arms German investigation of US war crimes.

As previously reported in Confidential, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a war crimes complaint with the German Prosecutor’s Office against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, new Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet, and other senior military and civilian officials. Rumsfeld then threatened to cancel a planned trip to Munich for a security conference. Unfortunately, despite initial positive indications from the German prosecutor’s office, thousands of letters in support of the complaint, strong evidence and the legal merits of the case, the German government caved into Rumsfeld’s strong-arm tactics and refused the suit. CCR is both appealing the German government decision and initiating a new campaign demanding that the US government appoint a special prosecutor to investigate US war crimes. For more information, see the CCR website at www.ccr-ny.org.

5. John Yoo, Bush administration torture defender, wimps out.

John Yoo and James Brosnahan were scheduled to debate the legal aspects of the “war on terrorism” at the University of California (UC) Berkeley Boalt Law School in early February. Professor Yoo, is the infamous former deputy assistant attorney general for the Bush administration who wrote several legal memos justifying torture. James Brosnahan, a prominent San Francisco attorney, defended John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban.” The event was jointly organized by the National Lawyers Guild and the conservative Federalist Society.

However, in the end, Yoo chickened out. So much for Yoo’s tough-guy stance. Somehow UC police got wind of “email chatter” that there might be a demonstration. It is unclear how UC police got access to this “email chatter,” or who they were monitoring, or why. Apparently Yoo gets special treatment from UC security forces. Brosnahan showed up and did a one-man show.

6. New York City officials subpoena names from the National Lawyers Guild.

In December, New York City officials issued a subpoena to the National Lawyers Guild demanding names of demonstrators at the 2002 World Economic Forum protests in New York. Why subpoena the Guild? Because legal observers supposedly would have names of protesters. This subpoena was an attack both on the right to demonstrate, and on the ability of the Guild to put legal observers on the streets. The Guild went to court to fight the subpoena. Last week, a New York judge quashed the subpoena, saying that the NLG and legal observers have First Amendment rights to associate, and that if the city were permitted to question them about whether they attended a certain demonstration, it would have a chilling effect. But cold winds are still blowing…

7. Join us:
Delegation to deliver petition to return Bill Mandel to KPFA’s airwaves.

On Monday, March 7, a delegation led by Jack Heyman of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union(ILWU), will deliver a petition to KPFA’s General Manager Roy Campanella, demanding that Bill Mandel be returned to the air. Bill was a popular programmer thrown off in 1995 for violating Pacifica’s gag rule. Signatories include Dan Ellsberg, who writes, “I always learned, listening to Bill Mandel on KPFA. I’d like very much to be able to hear him again; his voice is needed as much as ever, and it was a great mistake for KPFA to deprive us of it.” For more information about Bill, and to add your name to the petition, go to www.BillMandel.net. Join us at the station at 11:30am, 1929 MLK, Jr. Way, in Berkeley. Let’s bring Bill back. Si se puede!

8. Democracy Now! time change delayed yet again?

Way back in 2003, KPFA’s Program Council voted to move Democracy Now! from its current 6am and 9am time slots to a more popular 7am time slot. As previously reported in Confidential, new General Manager Roy Campanella reportedly indicated that he would finally implement this decision. Interim General Manager Jim Bennett, the darling of the old-boy network at the station, refused to implement the Program Council decision.

Now, however, it seems that Campanella is backsliding. His February report to the Local Station Board (LSB) says that he will provide “a list of proposed events to discuss this issue.” Discuss the issue? What does that mean? The only appropriate role for the new General Manager now is to implement the long-standing decision of the Program Council, not to delay the matter with another round of debates. His report suggests that he does indeed support the time change. If so, let’s get on with it, Roy.

9. Stealth KPFA Local Station Board Radio Hour.

Last Monday, several KPFA Local Station Board (LSB) members were surprised to hear an “LSB show” on the air, even though few of the LSB members knew there was to be a show. When several LSB members and numerous listeners complained about this stealth LSB show, Marnie Tattersall, the infamous LSB member who doubles as the chief financial officer for ABC/Disney’s corporate KGO and right-wing talk show KSFO radio stations, volunteered the following explanation:

“Folks, this was not some preplanned nefarious plot. On Thursday and Friday, Rosalinda [Palacios, the newly-elected chair of the LSB] heard carts on air saying there would be an LSB show on Monday. This was the first she was hearing about it! Rosalinda called me at almost midnight Friday night to ask if it were true. I said I was totally unaware… On Saturday we still did not know if this was for real, and thought it must be some sort of misinformation. Nevertheless after the LSB Meeting while having pizza Rosalinda, Mary [Berg, a staff representative on the LSB] and Brian [Edwards-Tiekert, also a staff rep to the LSB] figured someone better pull a quick plan B together in case there really would be a show on Monday. Brian called me on Sunday to tell me there was a plan just in case. Even today, Mary was not convinced there really was going to be a show – that there must be some sort of error. But sure enough when I checked the KPFA website this morning – there was a notice right on the home page announcing an LSB Report to the Listener show. So thankfully Brian, Rosalinda and Mary, with Roy’s help, were able to pull off a very reasonable fast paced show…. So, while this was not an ideal situation, please lets save the recriminations for something worthwhile.”

And pigs have wings, too.

10. Churches gobble up micro-radio frequencies.

A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle about micro-radio demonstrates the importance of the struggle over KPFA programming. It seems that the limited number of licenses now available for low-powered, under-100 watt radio stations have been “gobbled up by Christian organizations,” undercutting the hope that “low-income folks and communities of color… could grab a tiny slice of a radio dial now dominated by conglomerates…” According to Kai Aiyetoro, an Oakland-based officer with the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, “The churches have been much more organized in applying for and getting these stations… There’s no system of state organizations out there encouraging nonprofits and community groups to get their licenses. But the churches, if they hear about a frequency opening up, they spread the word to each other.”

There is now a bill in Congress that would increase the number of micro-radio licenses available, and thus increase the chances of new, progressive voices getting a larger foothold on the radio dial. National Public Radio (NPR) has pointedly withheld support for the bill, apparently fearing competition for its supposedly-progressive programming.

Meanwhile, San Francisco Liberation Radio, one of the pioneers of micro-radio, is fighting a legal battle to get back its equipment that was seized by federal agents. Liberation Radio is barred by current rules from ever getting a license, because it previously broadcast without a license. “Ironic,”said the station’s attorney, Mark Vermeulen.

And the old-boys at KPFA wonder why so many people get so agitated at some of the pap broadcast from Martin Luther King, Jr. Way…