Friday, December 14, 2007

Statement for the KPFK Local Station Board

Joaquin Cienfuegos
KPFK is a station that should be collectively owned by the people, the question is: Is KPFK that?
I am running for the KPFK Local Station Board, because this is a vital resource in the movement we seek to build and create. Imagine, a station where people of the community have a voice, where their struggles are not ignored, and where they themselves are helping run and maintain.
KPFK can be a radio station where new people are being trained on how to run their own shows, how to produce, how to interview, how to record, and how to work the board. People should be broadcasting from the frontlines of their local battles and struggles against oppression and injustice. There should be broadcasts in multiple languages, not just English, like Korean, Toga lag, Mandarin, Spanish and so on. We need to have more shows that are youth initiated, for and by young people and working class people of color. The issues of today and the issues of the oppressed should be priority on the station on the issues that are only important to a small minority of progressive privileged middle class white people. KPFK needs to become a station that everyone from the oppressed communities needs to listen to and begin to trust, but they can’t do that if they can’t relate to the station, what is on the air, and what politics it’s promoting. Issues and conflict of the station should also be made transparent to the listeners who support the station; otherwise it would by lying to the people.
The station needs to represent the vision of a better world. It has to give leadership to those who do not have a voice in this society. It needs to shine the light on oppression and injustice. If the station claims to be that, then it has to struggle against oppression and injustice even within the station itself. I hope to help with this vision and hope the help shift the paradigm at the station being part of the Local Station Board of KPFK.
My name is Joaquin Cienfuegos, I’m a member of Cop Watch Los Angeles (South Central Chapter) and the Revolutionary Autonomous Communities. I’m a 24 year old Indigenous-Chicano male from South Central Los Angeles. My parents are from Michoacan, Mexico, and immigrated here when they were both young. I started organizing when I was young, at 17 years old. What politicized me was my life experiences, dealing with the police in South Central, and the racist anti-immigration laws that were passed when I was young, especially proposition 187. I read a lot on my own, when I was kicked out of school for standing up to my teachers. I took my GED test and starting going to community college.
I began to focus on community organizing, because I felt the most potential was in empowering the people, and building the institutions that will replace the oppressive power structure, capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, patriarchy and white supremacy. People have power, they just need to realize it. So I began organizing and help create the Southern California Anarchist Federation – Los Angeles Chapter. We build Cop Watch LA out of that and with the help of a coalition called STOP (Stop Terrorism and Oppression by the Police) which was created after the police murder of Suzie Lopez Pena. Cop Watch LA was then created and branched out into the different communities that we lived in: South Central, Boyle Heights, Long Beach, Downtown, and so on. It was a tactic in the self-defense of our communities to combat police terrorism by observing the police with cameras and taking direct action.
The same working class youth of color help form the Revolutionary Autonomous Communities which is a revolutionary federation of community councils helping build a grassroots popular movement, build the autonomy, self-determination, self-organization, and infrastructure for self-defense of oppressed people and oppressed communities.
Thank you, Joaquin Cienfuegos Email me at:

Monday, December 10, 2007

KPFK Local Station Board Candidates

by way of Leslie Radford at ...
#1 Kahllid Al-Alim
Here's a brave man who's spoken against racism across the country and experienced first-hand the racism of a police beating. At his trial, the community came to his rescue with dozens of letters attesting to his importance in their lives and by their overwhelming presence in the courtroom. He's an organizer and leader of the student-parent-educator Coalition for Educational Justice, fighting for better classroom conditions in urban core schools and against military recruitment in the schools.

And he's a charmer, but he's outcharmed by his two young children. He's new to KPFK, but it's obvious after just a couple of conversations that he understands the turf and is ready to take it on. If you agree with me that progressive people with strong community ties should serve on KPFK's Local Station Board, then you'll rank Kahllid among your top candidates.

#2 Joaquin Cienfuegos
If I were to pick one candidate who meets all the criteria I've set out for the Local Station Board, it would be Joaquín. He's new to KPFK, only attended a couple of board meetings, checked it out, and decided the station had real potential for the communities of Los Angeles.
You're more likely to know Joaquin through his observations from Atenco, Mexico City, and Toluca on the anarchist and Zapatista movements, or maybe you know him as the co-founder of Cop Watch LA, the group that surveils the LAPD when the cops stalk the ghetto and the barrio and helped organize the civil suit against the May 1 LAPD invasion in MacArthur Park. Cop Watch LA has sprung up in just a little over a year, and it already has the LAPD on notice.
Joaquín is careful. He's careful about what he gets involved in, he's careful about who he supports. No phoney smiles and handshakes, but, if you prove yourself a friend or ally, you can be sure that he will have your back. And if Joaquín makes the commitment, he will give it everything he's got, and that will be enough.
#3 Schyna Pour
Serious, determined, a KPFK volunteer, and a listener for most of her life, Schyna brings her quiet, intelligent, deliberative attitude to KPFK. She's a young woman, but she's one of those young women who might just change the world with a little guidance and encouragement. She watches her elders carefully, and you can almost see her evaluating, learning, and deciding what's right and what's wrong. And if you watch carefully, you'll see her bust out in pure delight when things go right.
Schyna is one of the first graduates of KPFK's Sojourner Youth Training Program. And Schyna's an athlete, maybe a first for the KPFK LSB.

#4 Lawrence Reyes
He's volunteered for just about every committee at KPFK, squeezing them in between marches to end the war and protect immigrants. He heads the Los Angeles Puerto Rican Alliance and represents the Puerto Rican perspective at nearly every progressive event in town. And he brings KPFK into every event, as a sponsor, with a table, or by collecting memberships.
He's a social worker, a recent graduate with a master's degree. That achievement is remarkable enough, but he did it while volunteering for KPFK, heading the Alliance, demonstrating, and raising his son, and in spite of his dyslexia. Lawrence is one determined guy. And now he spends his work day working with children who find themselves lost in the world.
Lawrence is a big, passionate, Puerto Rican New Yorker. He can be on fire when that's what's needed, and he'll give you a great bear hug when you need one. If you're looking for loyalty, a true ally, and a hearty laugh, that would be Lawrence. The LSB could use a barometer for good initiatives and a warning bell for bad ones. That would be Lawrence, too. And if he says he'll do it, he'll get the job done.
#5 Rufina Juarez
Yes, it's really that Rufina, the co-leader of the South Central Farm movement. And she's willing to bring all that leadership, community, and credibility to KPFK. She's stood up to developers, the LA City Council, Mayor Villaraigosa. She led a movement that brought Martin Sheen, Willie Nelson, Joan Baez, Julia Butterfly Hill, John Quiqley, Darryl Hannah to her cause. She made 16 acres in South Central an international issue.
She's tough, civic-minded, and determined, and all that is held together with genuine caring and love. If Rufina wants to help out KPFK, KPFK can't lose.
#6 Moe Mansour
Moe lights up with the world's biggest ear-to-ear grin when he spots you in the KPFK hallway. A leader in the Union of Progressive Iranians and a regular during KPFK's fund drives, his friends have urged him to add his effusive warmth and charm to the KPFK Local Station Board for years. But we havne't been able to shake him out of the anti-war movement until now, maybe because the LSB needs him more now than ever.
Moe brings with him years of experience on the Outreach Committee, where he has consistently stood up for broadening KPFK's reach in southern California. He's a study in patience at hours-long LSB meetings, studiying the spinning, twisting, and gyrations. If there's one person I trust to see through the machinations, get to the heart of the matter, and do the right thing, it's Moe.
#7 Reza Pour
Reza is the exception that proves the rule. He's an "oldtimer" on the LSB--he's served for a couple of years now. But he's stayed out of the muck and stayed focused on the issues at KPFK that matter.
His quiet demeanor belies his quiet determination to make the station a voice of the people, and if you look closely you can see those warm, gentle eyes turn fierce at injustice. He's a survivor of the regime of the Shah of Iran, a student dissenter, an expatriot from his homeland. He doesn't need to tell you that story, and he probably won't if you ask, but it's all in his eyes. But watch, too, for the warm, gentle smile that slowly emerges at the sight of beauty and goodness.
Reza is an integral part of the Union of Progressive Iranians. He's probably gathered up more new members for KPFK than any other human being on the planet. And he serves the station, cooking food for dozens from his home kitchen, spending hours in the phone room for every fund drive. He will serve the LSB newcomers to the LSB, too, if they listen to him carefully. I've never met the Buddha, but I've met Reza.

#8 Chuck Anderson
I've admired Chuck from afar for years and finally got to meet this Orange County anti-war activist at the candidates' petition signing open house at the station. I was even more impressed with the man in person.

You might know Chuck from his continuing anti-war vigils in Costa Mesa, or leading Orange County A.N.S.W.E.R. in a confrontation of Bush during his visit there, his vigil for Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier, or from the plethora of information about anti-war and anti-racist actions he liberally spreads throughout the Southern California activist community.
Chuck is a man of few words and careful judgements, a true leader and thinker. I think everyone has tried to recruit him for every election since Pacifica began holding elections. It's an honor to the LSB that he's decided to run.

#9 Jubilee Shine
Apparently Jubilee has been agitating for workers and against police brutality for years, but he burst on my scene last year when Minuteman Ted Hayes launched across Leimert Park in front of TV cameras a year ago to assault him. This year, Jubilee responded by organizing South Central to stop Hayes and the Minutemen from entering the park. He's one of the few people I've met who sees that immigrants' rights and workers' rights are one and the same.
He's got strong convictions and an unflinching determination to make the right thing happen, in spite of all the odds. Jubilee and I will eventually butt heads, I'm sure, but I'm also sure we will do so with real respect.
#10 Jack Lindblad
I've just recently had a chance to get to know Jack. He's got a strong instinct for right and wrong, and once he's got the bone in his teeth, he doesn't let go. He was an organizer back in the day, fighting against media censorship and the first Iraq war. Today, he's battling against an internal takeover within our local Green Party. I don't think it would take much to get Jack back in the streets, where he would be a fine activist. I plan on trying to get him there.
#11 Alise Sochaczewski
I've finally had a couple of opportunities to talk with Alise, and she's impressing me. Her candidate statement is a strong vision of outreach to marginalized communities and to youth, and she's engaged in working with oppressed communities. She's actively opposing racism, always a good sign.
She's a gentle, forgiving soul, and a quick learner. Alise is the quiet, observing type, and when she gets the game, she commits. She might be a bit cautionary on the LSB, and that might be a good thing.