Steve Wagner on Tue, 20 Jul 1999 20:28:42 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> The FBI connection: S.F. Chron, Mon., 7-19-99

>This is from The San Francisco Chronicle, Monday, July 19, 1999, Page
>Hired guards alleged to have ties to FBI
>by Charles Burress, Chronicle Staff Writer
>   The private security service now occupying padlocked KPFA radio has
>ties to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies and could be having
>a field day with confidential records kept by reporters at the
>frequently anti-establishment station, KPFA journalists charged
>   The complaint came after KPFA's governing body, the Pacifica
>Foundation, refused yesterday morning to let employees retrieve their
>files and tapes from the Berkeley station.  Pacifica shut out all
>employees Tuesday and has been broadcasting music and past programs on
>KPFA's frequency at 94.1 FM.
>   The ousted host of the KPFA news magazine "Flashpoints," 20-year
>veteran Dennis Bernstein, said he was particularly concerned about
>confidential sources who provided information on condition of
>   "I'm frightened for those people," he said.
>   Pacifica, which placed all employees on paid, involuntary leave
>Tuesday after mass protests and arrests, maintains that files and tapes
>are "company property," said Pacifica spokeswoman Elan Fabbri.  She
>said the security service employees are merely protecting the station
>and are not looking into anyone's files or desks.
>   Fifty-year-old KPFA has been a leading forum for dissent, including
>exposes of alleged FBI and police abuses, and some employees are
>worried about the occupation of the station by IPSA International, a
>security firm headed by former law enforcement officials who specialize
>in executive protection and special investigations.
>   The concern turned to anger yesterday when Pacifica, after a demand
>from the employees' union, allowed a few workers to enter the station
>briefly to retrieve their belongings but barred removal of files and
>   Bernstein said he does not care about clothes or coffee cups, just
>his notes and recordings.  "That's what's driving me and what's making
>me extremely nervous."
>   "Look at the Web site," KPFA's co-news director Mark Mericle said of
>IPSA's home page at  "It's a concern."
>   Aileen Alfandary, the other news director, was visibly angry when
>she came back out of the station yesterday morning.
>   "I had files related to this crisis, and they wouldn't let me take
>them out of the building," she said.
>   The person escorting KPFA employees into the station yesterday was
>Gene Edwards, a human relations consultant criticized by KPFA reporters
>for bringing in the IPSA security firm.  He refused to talk to The
>   Fabbri said Edwards had suggested IPSA, but she said he was hired by
>Pacifica primarily to help fill vacancies and organize personnel
>records.  IPSA, a division of Oakland's American Protective Services,
>the nation's fourth-largest contract security firm, was brought in
>after protesters occupied that station and after Pacifica received
>threats that the station would be "seized by any means necessary,"
>Fabbri said.
>(c) 1999, The San Francisco Chronicle
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