Freak Radio: Rebound in Progress

Free Radio Santa Cruz may be down but they are definitely not out. The station’s webcast is back online and it is being relayed on-air by other microradio stations around the country in solidarity. Reaction to the raid is pouring in from around the globe (hopefully material support is, too). A local benefit for the station is already in the works early next month.

The Santa Cruz IMC continues to collect raid coverage, including more than 100 photos, audio/video coverage, and reaction from Freak Radio volunteers. Links to corporate media coverage (neutral-to-positive in tone) will be posted in this weekend’s Schnazz update.

Update #2 – Free Radio Santa Cruz Raided

A team of Federal Marshals – some in riot gear – arrived at the station’s home during the 9 o’clock hour this morning. Residents there were rousted with the barrels of guns (including automatic weapons); nobody was in the studio at the time, however. Five FCC agents arrived after the show of force and confiscated everything.

When word got out between 100-150 people showed up on the spot to protest the raid. This included slashing the tires of the FCC and Federal Marshals’ vehicles, which stranded them at the scene for a time. Nobody was arrested and no fine has been issued against anyone. Read More

Solomon Speaks on Enforcement Issues

Radio World talked with FCC Enforcement Bureau chief David Solomon this month and shutting down unlicensed broadcasters was at the top of the list of things Solomon thinks the FCC could stand to do better. The relevant excerpt below:

Solomon: One area that we continue to give a lot of attention to, and is a high priority, is pirate radio. I do think pirate radio continues to create some real challenges for us. We’re responding to the challenges in the sense that we continue to shut down numerous stations. Every year we probably shut down from 150 to 200 stations through various means. We’ve had a lot of success for one portion of the pirate radio problem – for those people or entities who are not really focused on the fact that there are licensing requirements; they’re small groups or individuals who go on very low powered and basically without a license, but provide some sort of local community service. (W)e go and we warn them; those people generally go off the air. And don’t do it again. But there’s a second aspect of the pirate problem where, it’s a continuing challenge; and that’s with what you might call the professional pirates. Read More