Pacifica ED Statement on Incident

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Pacifica ED Statement on Incident -

In the early morning hours of August 13, 2007, an unknown individual or individuals fired a gun at Pacifica Radio station KPFT, shattering a window and narrowly missing a staff member. What could have been a tragic loss of life was narrowly averted.

On behalf of the National Office of the Pacifica Foundation, a network of more than 125 radio stations reaching millions of people, I must express Pacifica’s outrage at this unconscionable act of desperate violence. KPFT’s hard-working and dedicated staff, which had just completed a successful summer fund drive when the attack occurred, is precious to our community. When a bullet entered the building in Houston, we were all under fire.

Pacifica Radio has often been the target of extremists, intolerant of diversity and open debate. Many people may not remember it, but after KPFT went on the air in 1970, it was bombed twice in its first year by the Ku Klux Klan. Federal agents and the local police didn’t pursue the case very aggressively at first. But Pacifica would not be silenced. We mounted a media campaign and eventually a Klansman was arrested for the attacks.

Just as in 1970, the Pacifica community stands shoulder to shoulder with the dedicated staff, volunteers and Board members of KPFT. We will not be silenced. We say no to the hatred and intolerance that leads to such violent outbursts.

The vast majority of people in Houston and the surrounding region are as appalled as the rest of the country. When the Pacifica National Board and staff convene in Texas, we are always greeted with warmth and hospitality. But this kind of attack – violent, irrational, and cowardly – cannot be allowed to pass without protest and the strongest possible condemnation.

We honor KPFT’s continuing work to live out the Pacifica mission – to examine the causes of conflict – especially racial antagonisms, and to offer Texas a fearless voice for peace, justice, and lasting understanding between all people.

KPFT is committed to dedicating the time and resources necessary to ensure the safety of its staff and to defend its broadcasting for years to come. Pacifica Radio will provide any necessary support to protect this precious Gulf Coast resource. KPFT stands strong, and the entire Pacifica Radio community stands right beside it.

Viva KPFT!

Greg Guma
August 14, 2007

[KPFT Program Director]