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Death came to the old revolutionary - put out what was left of his cigar - leaving him his military cap - so they would not place laurels - that would bother him. It is no little thing to confront the empire - & survive its rage of a mad dog - from which a bone is taken. Oh Cuba of the bitter history, - of palms, dances, songs, - of the drums of Alegba and Yamayá, - of the cane made sweet by blood and sweat - mourn and remember, sing, dance, work - for justice and never return to slavery. © Rafael Jesús González 2016
Who is this terrorist, this big bad JR Valrey who poses some sort of threat to the whole Pacifica network of five major radio stations around the country? First, he’s my friend and comrade at the Bay View, where we’ve worked together for over a dozen years, all his adult life. JR is our associate editor. During the same period, he’s also volunteered at KPFA radio, where his hard and highly acclaimed work finally won him a prime time show – Wednesdays at 8-9 a.m. – starting in May 2011. Immediately, listeners flocked to KPFA to hear this exciting new show.
On April 11, a large number of people affiliated with KPFA radio station convened at Laney College in Oakland to discuss a number of issues that have been plaguing the station for decades and are threatening to rip it apart with a race and class civil war. Unaddressed racial and class disparities at KPFA have caused a number of Black broadcasters to abandon ship.
For the second week in a row, one of the largest audiences for any show on KPFA was disappointed not to hear the People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey and his Block Report on the air Wednesday at 8 a.m. Instead we heard an announcement by interim general manager Andrew Phillips that JR has been suspended. Getting punished for doing “too well” happens to Black folks much too often. Sign the two petitions to end the suspension of JR Valrey from KPFA and attend the Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, April 11, 6 p.m. at Laney College. This story is constantly being updated with new signatures and comments.
The fiery writing of JR Valrey began appearing in the Bay View a dozen years ago. JR made our original vision for the Bay View reality: to inspire Black youth to build a powerful Black community. As the Bay View’s associate editor and one of KPFA’s most popular programmers with his provocative Block Report Radio shows, JR and the youth who grew up on his empowering words and pictures are growing in influence, making a difference every day – and they’re just getting started.
Since 1949, KPFA has been bringing incisive political analysis, vital cultural perspectives, and an amazing variety of music to the Bay Area and beyond. To keep KPFA responsive to community needs, the station needs community participation, and one of the ways to participate is to vote in the board elections.
The fierce debate about competing visions for KPFA and Pacifica Radio continues, with the focus now on the attempt to recall Tracy Rosenberg from the KPFA Local Station Board and the Pacifica National Board and the competing campaigns to keep Tracy on the board. Mail your ballot in time for it to arrive at KPFA by Aug. 3.
On May 14, nearly 2,000 Palestinian prisoners ended their historic mass hunger strike in Israeli jails, as prisoner representatives entered into an Egyptian-mediated agreement with Israeli prison officials. Israel agreed to limit the use of administrative detention indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial and said it would ease harsh restrictions on visiting.
There’s more mischief underway at community radio station KPFA. KPFA subscribers will soon be receiving ballots in the mail asking them to vote on whether media activist Tracy Rosenberg should be recalled from her seat on the KPFA board. This swiftboat-style attack on the station’s hardest working board member must be defeated!
I want to start with the recent attempt by the Children’s Museum of Oakland to prevent Palestinian kids from showing their art. You wrote a very moving piece on your website. It was very personal. Could you just briefly outline what you wrote and your response to this censorship?
For the past six months the people behind “KPFAWorker/SaveKPFA” have run a relentless, dishonest and destructive PR campaign – both on and off the air – against KPFA and Pacifica over the layoff last November of two KPFA staff members: Brian Edwards-Tiekert and Aimee Allison, the former co-hosts of KPFA’s Morning Show.
Over the past 10 years, any KPFA manager who attempted anything that did not meet the approval of a small core group of staff members – the foxes in the henhouse – met with so much hostility and non-cooperation that the job became nearly impossible to do.
I want us to do good radio. I want people to listen to us because we are doing dynamic programming. I want communities to feel that they can tune into the station and hear someone addressing the issues that are important to them.
We applaud broadcasters, artists and fans of KPFA who have come together to make sure that there is a station called KPFA in 2011. I want to be up front with why we have discussed protesting tomorrow night’s event. It is a principled stand against police terrorism in the Black community, cronyism to the Bush regime and the lack of Black public affairs programming on KPFA.
Your guest, Mr. Krasny, Larry Bensky, broad brushed all but a few us who work at KPFA as “clowns” and “conspiracy nuts,” as opposed to the real journalists on the Morning Show and KPFA News.
Two years ago, Brian Edwards-Tiekert reported to the Pacifica National Board that staff layoffs were imperative at WBAI in NYC and KPFK in LA even though those laid off would push back. Today at KPFA, Brian is the one being laid off and pushing back.
Rally to build KPFA’s audience in communities of color and diverse communities Thursday, Nov. 11, 4:30 p.m., KPFA, 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley. The potential elimination of Hard Knock Radio is a political insult to our communities and the mission of the Pacifica radio network. The programmers of color who work at KPFA have long standing contacts in the broader community. Our communities have fought, sacrificed and worked hard for KPFA, and the station’s budget must not be balanced on our backs. Hands off Hard Knock Radio!
We must protect Hard Knock Radio, Flashpoints and Full Circle from the KPFA chopping block because in essence we are protecting our right to an accessible community radio station, where we can learn, teach and participate in local struggles for community power.
The KPFA management plan was to remove Flashpoints from the 5 p.m. evening slot and replace it with a syndicated news program from an external source. To remove Hard Knock radio from the 4 p.m. evening slot and replace it with a syndicated Baltimore NPR program hosted by Michael Eric Dyson. Siding with management to advocate for unfair reductions that violate the basic seniority provisions in their own contract and endorsing slates in board elections is the kind of behavior that gives unions a bad name.
After Malcolm X passed on, his writings and teachings really took root in the minds of a new generation, inspiring young Black people in Oakland to create the Black Panther Party. Forty-five years later, his first male heir and grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, has come to the Bay. Meet him and Cynthia McKinney Thursday, July 22, 7:30 p.m., at Twinspace, 2111 Mission St., San Francisco.
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