KPCN - Prometheus and PCUN- building farmworker radio!!

Could not find the onepixelout file for embedding.
Mobilizing on Mayday

On August 18-20, Prometheus Radio collaborated with PCUN- Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Treeplanters and Farmworkers United of the Northwest), for PRP's tenth radio station barnraising, to build KPCN-lp Woodburn, OR. Local volunteers from Portland's KBOO and Indymedia were joined by national volunteers throughout the US and international volunteers from Central and South America and gathered in the Willamette Valley of Oregon to make a long-standing dream of PCUN's come true! Since the organization formed in 1985 to protect the rights of Woodburn's immigrant treeplanters and farmworkers, it has been in the organization's vision to own and operate its own radio station to use as a tool to discuss the group's numerous issues and campaigns (right - PCUN mobilizes 20,000 demonstrators in Salem, Oregon during May Day 2006)

PCUN's mission is to offer support and fight for the rights of the employees of the Willamette Valley's many farms - employees who generally work long hours for low wages, with no overtime pay, paid breaks, seniority, job security, or other benefits. Seasonal workers are often housed in squalid labor camps owned and operated by growers or labor contractors, and are often exposed to a variety of pesticides that are used to protect the crops.

For the past twenty years, PCUN has wanted to have a radio station of their own. They started out paying $250 for an hour long program on an AM radio station in Woodburn. Doing what they do best, PCUN used their radio program to organize demonstrations and mobilize farmworkers and supporters for their various campaigns. However, due to local politics and in breech of PCUN's contract, PCUN's program was taken off the air immediately after a listener informed the radio station owner (who was an acquaintance of a local grower) of the contents of PCUN's program.

Outraged by the lack of the AM station's adherence to the legal document, PCUN filed a law suit against the radio station and won that lawsuit, which allowed them to remain on the air for two more weeks. During those two weeks, PCUN informed their listeners that they hadn't been taken away on the Mothership by space invading aliens, and that they'd be moving their radio program to Portland's own KBOO. PCUN's program on KBOO's airwaves was a huge success (perhaps too large of a success) in Portland, PCUN found themselves organizing events there.

Although PCUN was glad to move it's listeners to action, they found themselves getting stretched too thin to be as effective as they could've been in their hometown of Woodburn (which is thirty minutes south of Portland). "We had to rethink the program on KBOO, and we decided we'd have to discontinue it and bring our energy and focus back to Woodburn", said Ramon Ramirez- President of PCUN.

Just before their own radio station barnraising, PCUN found that the ugly head of corporate media would rear it's ugly head once more, when they approached the Spanish television giant, Univision, to place an ad promoting the Day of Immigrant rights on May 1, 2006. The nation- wide call to action asked that demonstrators NOT go to work, to school, or make any purchases on that day as an act of solidarity with the thousands of other demonstrators across the country.

When PCUN approached Univision to buy an ad for the demonstration, PCUN was told that they could buy and place an ad, but only under the condition that they wouldn't make any mention of participants not going to work, to school, or making any purchases. "They accepted our money, but it wasn't good enough", said Adrian Valladares- Caranza, KPCN's start-up coordinator. So close to the radio station barnraising this August, PCUN greatly anticipated having their very own radio station.

PCUN's vision is to use their new radio station, KPCN-lp, as an organizing tool to further their strategizing efforts in winning rights for the farmworkers who feed us all. PCUN, which is an umbrella organization for several other local groups in Woodburn plans to involve those groups in the programming of KPCN. Listeners can expect to hear shows from the local high school group-LUCHA!, the women's empowerment group- Mujeres Luchadoras Progresistas, as well as live mariachi music from the in house live studio! On August 18-20, volunteers from around the nation and the world learned about community radio during the numerous workshops and helped build KPCN for this awesome organization!

Media from the barnraising:

Friday Plenary

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

PCUN Launch

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

DIY Radio Barnraising Show

Photos from the Barnraising

Oregon Public Broadcasting video

Barnraising Articles