about this website

by Daniel Borgström

When I set this website up, with the help of a computer-knowledgeable friend, it began as a place to post a lengthy account I'd written about events at the
Port of Oakland in 2003. Those events occurred shortly after Bush&Co launched their invasion of Iraq.

April 7th of that year, police attacked peaceful protesters in the port, injuring over 59 persons, including picketers, dock workers and journalists. The days and weeks that followed saw a flurry of events. Outraged protesters and supporters attended city council meetings, held rallies, and five weeks later returned to the port for a successful--and this time unmolested--protest.

In the months and years that followed, there was always a lot to write about--the weekly
peace walk around Lake Merritt in Oakland, the annual protest up north at Bohemian Grove, further picket lines and actions at the docks, and more. I also posted older stories, accounts from the Vietnam era and the veterans antiwar movement--memories and experiences from what now seems like a previous lifetime.

Towards the end of the Vietnam war I wrote for "underground" newspapers and helped with the layout. That was the age of paste-up newspapers; and, as primitive as they would seem today, the photocopy technology that made them possible was revolutionary. Small groups with very limited resources were able to publish their own newspapers.

The advent of the personal computer was the next revolution, with websites replacing paste-ups. The friend who set up my website taught me the basics of running it.

At first I didn't have a name for the site. Then one day I visited an art exhibit which included works by Catherine Jones and saw a line-drawing of a barbed wire fence surrounding a vacant lot. No political significance seemed to be intended by the artist, but the drawing made me think of photos I'd seen of "free speech zones," such as was built near the Democratic Convention that year. The symbolism of barbed wire representing First Amendment rights had to be the perfect oxymoron. I put the picture on my website and called it "Daniel's Free Speech Zone."

Our world is full of oxymorons, but I was surprised to find them among progressives at a community radio station supposedly aiming to present "free speech radio" news and commentary. The station is KPFA at 94.1 FM and it belongs to the community, but a group of programmers formed a faction that has been attempting to take it for themselves. That faction, the
CL'ers (aka "Concerned Listeners" aka "Save KPFA"--a name stolen from an earlier group), is very well connected, having ties to Democratic Party politicos and even a prominent Republican.

Opposing the CL'ers is a coalition of grassroots radio activists who've been fighting for transparency, accountability and listener-democracy at the station. For several years now I've been following these events and began writing a series of scenes and sketches from some of the local station board meetings. I call it "
Between the Minutes." These reports present some of the highlights. Often, an incident or exchange that happens during the short space of five minutes can capture the essence of a five-hour session.

As time went on, I also started collecting and posting commentary and analysis by long-time activists who've taken part in this effort. This phase of the struggle over KPFA and the Pacifica network dates back to the early 1990's. There's a lot of history that needs to be considered, and whenever someone comes along and says "Let's forget the past," it's usually someone who wants to move on to doing more of the same old bullshit. So my intent is to collect and include both recent and older accounts, in some cases even from decades ago--accounts which may shed light on the current situation.

Why such emphasis on KPFA/Pacifica? In this world dominated by corporate media which promotes the interests of Wall Street, petroleum and the defense industries, the Pacifica radio network has immense potential. The network consists of 5 stations and has 150 community radio affiliates which give alternative views and analysis, information we wouldn't otherwise hear. (Which I suspect may be part of the reason some people are working so hard to take it down.) Keeping the station in community hands and the network alive is strategically important.

So for the present, KPFA/Pacifica has taken center stage at this website. Below are some of the other topics at this site.

danielfortyone ( ) gmail.com

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*** some topics at this website ***

soldiers once remembering Jim Ketola; The death of Sgt. Van Dale Todd; Veterans for Peace: ARTICLES

Port of Oakland pickets, shutdowns, & sit-ins: ARTICLES

"Honk for Peace" every Sunday at Lake Merritt: ARTICLES

privatizers, corporatizers: ARTICLES

The Middle East: ARTICLES

watching those who watch us: ARTICLES

Travels in Afghanistan, Nicaragua

Bohemian Grove annual protest

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*** Also at this website, on other pages ***

Cuauhtémoc & me: a novel by Daniel Borgström

Tae a Haggis: Poetry by Leonard Irving

Dave's Middle East Study Group

People of Grytnes -- a Norse family coming to America in the 19th century

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*** external links to other WEBSITES which support the struggle to keep Pacifica alive ***

recent articles by Carol Spooner
"Russian Roulette," "Who runs KPFA," & more

The Grassroots Radio Movement in the U.S. by Marty Durlin and Cathy Melio

Democracy at Pacifica by Robbie Osman Across the Great Divide

Support KPFA.org

KPFTX.org Pacifica National Board minutes & archives

Independents for Community Radio (ICR)

People's Radio

The original 1993 Save KPFA (whose name was recently stolen by the "Concerned Listeners")

Ring Nebula


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