My name is Aaron R. M. Aarons. I have been active in the struggle against capitalism, imperialism and white supremacy since 1956.
One of the high points of my activism was my participation, as a member of the Campaign Against Apartheid, in the construction and occupation of shantytowns on the U.C. campus, where I was one among over 100 arrested during one of the violent police assaults on our project.
Most of my activism, however, has been in the form of written and spoken words. One of my main arenas recently has been indybay.org and other indymedia web sites. I also made hundreds of posters for people to carry at the anti-war marches this year and last.
I support and encourge struggles on all fronts against the U.S. imperialist ruling class and its allies at home and around the world. One of my main concerns has been showing solidarity with the people of Palestine against U.S.-enabled Israeli oppression. I also am loud and unequivocal in my expression of solidarity with the Iraqi people's struggle against the U.S. occupation of their country.
I have been listening to KPFA for almost 30 years. While I love a lot of the programming, especially some of the programming (like "Shoutin' Out with Mama O'Shea") that was eliminated during the 1995 purge, I have been very dissatisfied with the News Department for at least the last two decades. It generally takes an almost uncritical attitude towards the pronouncements of ruling-class agents, habitually saying, for example, that somebody or something "is believed to be", e.g., part of some "terrorist" organization, without saying who claims to believe it, and what is the evidence for such belief. Related to this is the habit of saying that some government agent (or the government itself!) "believes" something or other when all we know is that they want the public to believe it!
Sometimes, if one doesn't recognize the voices of the newscasters, one can think that one is listening to NPR! What we need is a News Department that starts from the premise that the government and the corporations are lying until proven otherwise. We also need a News Department that doesn't let the U.S. ruling class define what is news! For example, are we going to wait for the U.S. to have a serious conflict with the government of India before the News Department decides that the massive, violent oppression and armed resistance that has been going on for decades in the Northeast of that country is newsworthy?
Although I have been singling out the News Department here, much of this criticism applies to the Public Affairs Department, especially the Morning Show, but not as consistently.
If elected to the LSB, I will use whatever influence I have to push News and Public Affairs programming toward a much more oppositional and critical stance.