Open Letter to Pacifica Board on Censorship of Bonnie Faulkner’s Guns & Butter Radio Show

BERKELEY CALLING POST MAY 9, 2015 – OPEN LETTER TO PACIFICA BOARD ON CENSORSHIP

The following email was sent to the Pacifica National Board, KPFA Program Director, and KPFA General Manager after learning that Bonnie Faulkner’s “Guns and Butter Radio Show” was censored on May 6 during the Spring KPFA Fund Drive. For a report on what happened, see this Pacifica in Exile Report.

Bonnie Faulkner, Host of Guns & Butter Radio Show on KPFA every Wednesday from 1 - 2 pm Pacific Time. Photo by Vic Sadot, Grand Lake Theater  http://www.gunsandbutter.org

Bonnie Faulkner, Host of Guns & Butter Radio Show on KPFA every Wednesday from 1 – 2 pm Pacific Time. Photo by Vic Sadot, Grand Lake Theater http://www.gunsandbutter.org

From: Vic Sadot <vic.bfuu.sjc@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, May 9, 2015 at 4:58 AM
Subject: Shameful Day for KPFA! Censorship Free Speech Radio style!
To: pd@kpfa.org, pnb@pacifica.org, gm@kpfa.org

The censorship of Bonnie Faulkner’s independent and internationally respected “Guns and Butter Radio Show” is absolutely inconsistent with the concept of free speech radio and the great Pacifica radio tradition of fighting censorship. All the more shameful when it is in the middle of a California citizens struggle against Big Pharma’s press to get legislation to make expanded regimens of vaccines mandatory! Which side are you on?

A public apology and explanation to the KPFA community is in order. The show and the premium she has selected should be presented at the next earliest opportunity, ie Let it go on next Wednesday’s show!

In solidarity with Bonnie Faulkner and her internationally esteemed radio show, we have just added the KPFA censored movie to our documentary playlist “Health Care Truth and Justice for All” in the “SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE HEART OF BERKELEY” YouTube  Channel. Get on side of the people’s right to control their own bodies!

Stop Gatekeeping! Restore Free Speech Radio!

Vic Sadot, BFUU Social Justice Committee Activist & Berkeley Broadside Balladeer

Silent Epidemic: The Untold Story of Vaccines – Full Movie – Directed by Gary Null (1:48:05) Published on Nov 11, 2013 at Gary Null YouTube Channel. Now video #13 in the “Health Care Truth and Justice for All” playlist in the “Social Justice in the Heart of Berkeley” YouTube  Channel. “Silent Epidemic, by award winning film director Gary Null, is the first documentary to investigate thoroughly the true medical record and the historical evidence about vaccine marvels. Conventional medicine has herald the invention of vaccines as a miracle of modern science. It claims that vaccines have been proven to prevent and eradicate infectious diseases. We are told that vaccines are safe and effective, and that “herd immunity” can be achieved if a high percentage of a population is vaccinated. However, does the science support these claims? Kru

“Simple Song of Freedom” – Truth Troubadour Vic Sadot update of the Bobby Darin 1969 classic anthem to struggle released under license on “9/11 Truth & Justice Songs” available on CD Baby. The song was actually a hit for Tim Hardin in 1966, and Tim Hardin’s “If I Were A Carpenter” was a hit for Bobby Darin. Great American songwriters!

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Québec – California Solidarity Shines in Richmond

Group photo outside the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center in Richmond after the gathering organized by the Sunflower Alliance. "Stopping Fossil Fuel Disaster! - Starting Fossil Free Solutions!" From Lac-Mégantic, Québec to Richmond, California! SATURDAY, March 1, 2o14 at Bobby Bowens  Progressive Center, 1021 Macdonald Ave, Richmond CA

Group photo outside the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center in Richmond after the gathering organized by the Sunflower Alliance. “Stopping Fossil Fuel Disaster! – Starting Fossil Free Solutions!” From Lac-Mégantic, Québec to Richmond, California! SATURDAY, March 1, 2o14 at Bobby Bowens Progressive Center, 1021 Macdonald Ave, Richmond CA. Photo by Brooke Anderson. Hit the photo to see her Facebook page: “Stills of Our Stories & Struggles”

A devastating and tragic oil train derailment, explosions, and intense raging fires came crashing into the little town of Lac-Mégantic, Québec, Canada on the night of July 6, 2013. In the aftermath, citizens from the town began to find their collective voice and to organize themselves. One of them spoke in Richmond to a large crowd at the Barry Bowers Center in Richmond, CA on March 1, 2014.

A train rolling throught lovely downtown Lac-Megantic sometime before the oil train derailment, explosions and fires of July 6, 2013. Photo Montreal CTV News

A train rolling throught lovely downtown Lac-Megantic sometime before the oil train derailment, explosions and fires of July 6, 2013. Photo Montreal CTV News

Marilaine Savard told the story and showed photos from her home town tragedy. An unattended 74-car freight train transporting the most volatile of crude oil was parked at night on a steep incline a few miles from town. Somehow the train’s brakes failed and it ran away and picked up speed until it derailed as it took a curve in the center of the quaint little town located in the Eastern Townships of the Canadian province of Quebec. It’s very close to the border of Maine and next to a beautiful lake also named Lac-Mégantic. The train derailed, resulting in such intense fires and explosions of multiple tank cars that it killed 47 people who were “vaporized”. More than 30 buildings in the town’s center were destroyed turning the quaint Québec town into an inferno and into a wasteland. See the photo from before above and the photo after below.

The Sainte-Agnès Catholic Church stands unscathed next to the derailment and blast site in Lac-Megantic, Quebec on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Pope Francis on Tuesday extended an apostolic blessing to victims, families and everyone affected by the tragedy. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

The Sainte-Agnès Catholic Church stands unscathed next to the derailment and blast site in Lac-Megantic, Quebec on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Pope Francis on Tuesday extended an apostolic blessing to victims, families and everyone affected by the tragedy. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

Such was the story told by a young mother named Marilaine Savard from Lac-Mégantic, who fate cast as the spokesperson for the people of the town’s effort to respond to Big Oil and it’s conduct of criminal neglect and irresponsibility. Marilaine Savard was emotionally distraught at times. Yet she was stalwart and inspired by the outpouring of good will and “Solidarity” that she received from her new-found friends in the Chevron Oil Refinery town of Richmond, California. If any California town can feel for Lac-Mégantic it would be Richmond, which has suffered the effects of the huge oil refinery in its midst. 

Marilaine Savard, Baraka, and Pennie Opal Plant relax after the inspiring gathering in Richmond. Photo by Vic Sadot

Marilaine Savard, Baraka, and Pennie Opal Plant relax after the inspiring gathering in Richmond. Photo by Vic Sadot

Marilaine Savard, spokesperson for the Citizens Committee of Lac-Mégantic, Québec, was in the San Francisco Bay area for about a week of local speaking and organizing for alternatives to the fossil-fuel industry as well as to tell the story of her community. Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin gave a fiery speech and read a formal Solidarity Proclamation from the City of Oakland to the city of Lac-Mégantic. 

Richmond, CA Mayor Gail  McLaughlin and City Council member Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles read and present the Proclamation of Solidarity to Marilaine Savard on behalf of their respective communities. Photo by Vic Sadot

Richmond, CA Mayor Gail McLaughlin and City Council member Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles read and present the Proclamation of Solidarity to Marilaine Savard on behalf of their respective communities. Photo by Vic Sadot

Mayor McLaughlin is part of the Richmond Progressive Alliance which has transformed Richmond from an oil “company town” to a leading city standing up to Wall St bank foreclosures and Chevron corruption and pollution. Her second term as mayor is currently dealing with the aftermath of the damages for the August 6, 2013 Chevron refinery explosion and fire that resulted in 15,000 going to the hospital.

Photo by David Charron in Maclean's Canadian National Weekly

Photo by David Charron in Maclean’s Canadian National Weekly

Also speaking: Antonia Juhasz, leading oil industry expert, policy-analyst, award winning journalist, and author of three books: including ‘The Tyranny of Oil: The World’s Most Powerful Industry and What We Must do to Stop It.’  George Monterrey, a grassroots community leader of the Pittsburg Ethics Council, which is fighting the Wespac crude mega-transfer-storage facility in Pittsburg, CA to supply expanding Bay Area refineries with fracked and tar sands crude oil by rail, pipeline and tanker. Pennie Opal Plant, Idle No More SF Bay Solidarity, from Richmond, CA “Idle No More calls on all people to join in a peaceful revolution, to honor Indigenous sovereignty, and to protect the land and water”. The MC was Andres Soto, KPFA’s Morning Mix host, writer at Richmond Confidetial, and Communities for a Better Environment Richmond organizer. David Solnit of Arts for Change talked about how some discussions months ago led to these connections with newly activated people in Québec.

The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson & Montreal CTV News Lac-Mégantic Oil Train Fires & Explosions Disaster 07-06-13

The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson & Montreal CTV News Lac-Mégantic Oil Train Fires & Explosions Disaster 07-06-13

Publicity for the event stated that “Fossil Fuels are a disaster, from fracking and tar sands extraction to transport in rail cars, pipelines and tankers; to refining; to burning; to climate change-caused drought, heatwaves, fires, floods, and super-storms that are wrecking our communities and planet”. The panel addressed questions related to this theme: “How can we move from “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) to “Not On Planet Earth” (NOPE)? How can we STOP fossil fuel disasters and START fossil-fuel free solutions?”

LacMegantic wide angle photo Montreal CTV News Oil Train Fires & Explosions Disaster 07-06-13

Lac-Mégantic wide angle photo Montreal CTV News Oil Train Fires & Explosions Disaster 07-06-13

Sponsored by Sunflower Alliance. Cosponsored by Richmond Progressive Alliance, Bay Area 350.org, and Communities for a Better Environment.

The Facebook event page was titled “Stopping Fossil Fuel Disaster–Starting Fossil Free Solutions” From Lac-Mégantic to Pittsburg to Richmond, CA. How do we create connectedness and solidartity and an end to the attitude of “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) to a wiser and more engaging attitude of “Not On Planet Earth” (NOPE). A lively teach-in it was! 

A gathering earlier in the week when the Solidarity Banner was unfurled. People signed their names and short statements on the banner to be taken back to Québec. I wrote "Bon Courage!"

A gathering earlier in the week when the Solidarity Banner was unfurled. People signed their names and short statements on the banner to be taken back to Québec. I wrote “Bon Courage!