August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, August 12, 2022

Tribute to Allen Cooper: Radio man battling for the people

Photo by Barbara and Peter Clark. Allen at Standing Rock, with Don Cuny of Oglala.
They were both at Wounded Knee.

A KUNM Volunteer and an Activist of a Thousand Battles

Allen Fairfax Cooper

August 10, 1938-August 7, 2022

By Kent Paterson

Censored News

Brash, outspoken, committed and passionate. Just a few of the words that describe Allen Cooper. The former KUNM volunteer passed away on Sunday, August 7, 2022, a few days shy of his 84th birthday. A sailor, political activist, VW mechanic, educator, laborer, private investigator, and radio-cablevision host, Cooper wore many hats in his long and storied life. Yet he was always fighting the powers-that-be and struggling alongside oppressed, marginalized and subjugated peoples and communities from New Mexico to Mississippi to Central America and other reaches of the globe-sometimes at the risk of his own life.

KUNM was an essential part of Cooper's life. As a young Navy veteran and UNM student back in the early 1960s, "Coop," as his friends frequently called him, first became familiar with KNMD, a small, student-run radio station that had just opened in the basement of the UNM Student Union Building and was heard only on campus. In 1966 the station got a transmitter, was granted an FCC license, and began broadcasting with the new call letters KUNM.

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