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What @stephenjackson is missing is that most of the activities targeted by Geofeedia are not illegal. Criticizing the police is not illegal. Peaceful protest is not illegal. Making comments on social media expressing displeasure with various politicians and members of the establishment is not illegal. The presumption of guilt prior to or via random interpretation is exactly what constitutional protections are designed to prevent. So the question is: are there consequences for being "a braggart on social media about legal activities" and if so, what does that mean for freedom of association and expression?
Geotracking is also a very specific scenario that says that your physical location can become a matter of public scrutiny because of the expression of a dissenting political opinion. While the opinion may have been offered publicly, where you are when you said it and where you went to next, are not being offered publicly. Algorithims are being offered as substitutes for a warrant.
Congrats to the ASUC for being smarter than professional politicians twice their ages and calling foul on this annual police militarization carnival. Urban Shield reinforces hyper-agressive policing, racial profiling and uber militarization and has no place in a progressive community. Check it out for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K1T8Aiw9d…
Media Alliance/Stop Urban Shield Coalition
This piece was extraordinarily disappointing. Am I supposed to believe the reporter couldn't find one person living on the street in Berkeley who preferred *not* to be homeless? There's a difference between lively writing and vapid snark, and this article definitely crossed the line. Where is the acknowledgment that the number of unhoused people is greatly increasing in the entire country due to an economic collapse and the looting of the social safety net? According to Rachel Swan, the increase on Berkeley sidewalks is totally due to the permissiveness and indulgence of people in Berkeley. That's called ignoring the facts and providing no meaningful context to the reader. A ticket for violating one of these ordinances doesn't *always* provide a wake-up call to an indigent person. Sometimes the financial and emotional stress of being stopped by law enforcement, arrested, cited, and taken to jail can push people over the edge who are already pretty close. And if Berkeley in fact has the resources to house every currently unhoused person in the city boundaries, then that is certainly news to me, and they would be just about the only municipality in the country so blessed. This is what happens when a feature article is begun with a set of preconceived notions and evidence is collected largely to support these preconceived notions. The problem is that Berkeley residents have a decision to make and this article is too busy trying to prove several questionable allegations about recreational homelessness to give them the information they need to make that decision.
Rachel Swan may consider it a "technicality" that 6 months of KPFA members were constrained from voting on their future representation on the KPFA and Pacifica boards, but the court did not. That is because it isn't a technicality. Violations of the corporation code are serious and the restraining order was granted ex parte on Wednesday morning for good reason. KPFA has had plummeting Arbitron ratings and plummeting revenues for years and years and posted 2 straight years of $550,000+ operating deficits prior to the "controversial" changes that Swan refers to, which were expense-reduction based. When a million dollars in cash reserves runs down to zero in the bank and $250,000 in arrears, I don't know who could possibly expect that expense reductions wouldn't be in the offing. The tragic thing for KPFA was that they happened far, far too late, after financial stability had been sacrificed and much-needed investments in technology upgrades and facility maintenance had been delayed to keep operating at a loss. The blame game about that has largely occupied the station for the last two years to the detriment of all and has obscured what community radio should be about, which is bringing unheard voices and perspectives to the air to widen the public discussion of issues and culture and support movements for justice, dignity and a more equitable world.
Speaking for myself, it's beyond disappointing to see Pacifica again and again and again fall into the trap of characterizing its internal struggles as being about people, instead of being about issues. Any reporter trying to cover the story should rise above such a low bar for their coverage. The scramble to make scarce resources stretch far enough and to do just a little to compensate for the massive failures of the mainstream media with the few bits of media infrastructure not directly owned by corporate America has nothing to do with maintaining anyone's "position" and everything to do with how to do the impossible against the highest of odds. Pacifica and KPFA continue to slit their own throats with an endless parade of eight executive directors and seven KPFA managers in 11 years and a turgid power struggle. If that's what Save KPFA calls a victory, I feel sorry for them. The problems remain.
Perhaps one day Rachel Swan will do a story on Andres Soto and how exciting it is that he is drilling into the city of Richmond and its challenges and victories every Thursday morning. Something you really *can't* hear anywhere else. And the programming collectives that bring together people around women's issues, Asian-American affairs, La Raza, the Middle East and North Africa and create unique local forums. Or the bravery of Project Censored which has been saying what no else will for 35 years. Or the trajectory of Hard Knock Radio which been blazing a trail for a decade. Those are the victories that count, in my book.
Listener Delegate, KPFA Local Station Board
Director, Pacifica Foundation Board of Directors
Some interesting language from the FCC:
“While the Commission recognizes that KUSF(FM)’s format has attracted a devoted listenership, it is well-settled policy that the Commission does not regulate programming formats, nor does it take potential format changes into consideration in reviewing license assignment applications. The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld this policy and the Commission’s determination that “the public interest is best served by promoting diversity in entertainment formats through market forces and competition among broadcasters. This is particularly so with regard to the programming decisions of NCE (noncommercial) broadcast stations. Although market forces cannot be relied upon to regulate programming in the NCE realm, the Commission historically “has had the appropriately limited role of facilitating the development of the public broadcasting system rather than determining the content of its programming”
So if “market forces” cannot be relied upon to serve the public interest in the noncommercial broadcast sector, then what are relying on?
I’m just asking …..
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