It is a sad commentary when the management of KPFA Radio, a nonprofit dedicated to social justice in my hometown of Berkeley, Calif., calls the police on a staff member who volunteers her time, donating talent and skill to bring the mission of that organization to bear.
As a member of first the advisory board and later the governing Local Station Board at KPFA through 2006, I witnessed events that I believe gave rise to what the writers of yesterday's Berkeley Daily Planet commentary call a threat of "civil war," and I contribute these words to the struggle for a just peace. KPFA managers are apparently oblivious to the everyday police war on Black people that I believe KPFA is obligated by its mission to cover.
Almost 20 years ago, we declared this KPFA building a sanctuary against violence, a new home for peace and a network that was created nearly six decade ago to promote peace and understanding among all communities. And here we have the Pacifica patrones mimicking their corporate twins, using police power to sustain their political point of view.
As I read the post about what happened to Nadra Foster, I broke out in a cold sweat and my heart started to beat faster and faster. I experienced painful flashbacks and felt that burn of tears welling up in my eyes. I knew this would happen again.
I was outraged to hear that my "daughter," Nadra Foster, was attacked, brutalized, hogtied, arrested and charged with trespassing, resisting arrest, assaults on police, and other charges, with bail set at $81,500!
One of the officers has his knee on her groin. Another one is pressing her arms against her chest and his full body weight is top of her. Nadra and the officers are rolling and struggling on the ground. Nadra is still screaming for help.
On Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008, between 1 and 2 p.m., Nadra Foster, a young Black woman programmer and single mother, was beaten to the ground by the Berkeley police, arrested, hog-tied and taken to jail, after the management of KPFA radio and the Pacifica Foundation had called the police on her, falsely accusing her of being "banned" from the station.
For small non-commercial radio stations across the country, the ability to stream programs on the Internet is indispensable. Instead of being limited to the wattage granted to them by the FCC, streaming on-line allows stations to reach listeners all over the world.