Free Radio Under Fire

Standing center-stage in the world headlines right now is the current NATO military campaign against Yugoslav military targets in the province of Kosovo. Ideology and other issues aside, information as to what’s happening inside the country right now is sketchy, as all journalists from NATO countries have been expelled from the province and from other key locations in Yugoslavia where regular updates on action can be obtained.

Fortunately for the world, and not so for the Serbian-controlled government, intrepid broadcasters who’ve been counteracting state-controlled media influence are right in the thick of things. And this isn’t just a ragtag bunch of activists looking to make a statement, staring at official letters threatening court action or fines.

These “pirate” broadcasters have it all on the line – and the risk could be life or death. Read More

1998=1984?

An interesting little email has cropped up among microradio activists recently.

It stems from the recent bust and arrest of the operators of Black Cat Radio in Memphis, TN. The station ops weren’t arrested for the actual act of unlicensed broadcasting, but rather for jacking into the University of Memphis‘ electrical system to to power their transmitter as they broadcast from a parking garage on campus.

The email allegedly came from the U.S. Department of Justice, and it’s reproduced in its entirety below: Read More

Risks and Strategies

By Ted M. Coopman
Rogue Communication

Disclaimer: Broadcasting without a license is a violation of Federal law. Those convicted of illegally broadcasting may face fines of more than $10,000 and up to one year in jail per incident. The author does not encourage any illegal activity nor does he accept any liability for the consequences of the use of the information contained in this article. The reader uses this information at her/his own risk. For more information concerning the penalties for unlicensed broadcasting contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

So, You Want to Free the Airwaves?

If you have gotten this far and found this article, I am assuming you know about the Micro Broadcasting Movement and are seriously considering participating. If not, you will want to check out Radio4all for links and detailed information about the Free Communications Movement and micro radio. For deeper background, you may wish to access my master’s thesis on micro radio. This article does not encourage participating in micro radio (although I am on record as supporting the goals of the Free Communications Movement); it simply provides information gathered through researching the Micro Radio Movement and the FCC. I wrote this article to help individuals considering participating in micro radio make informed decisions. Read More

Working the System

There are many that say it’s no use to try to change something from the inside. Maybe it’s because they’re not sure how. Once again, legal experts in the microradio movement have a bright idea for tactics – use the FCC’s regulatory system as a tool! Written by Peter Franck, a member of the legal team defending Stephen Dunifer and Free Radio Berkeley.

This is a report, a proposal, and poses questions to the micro community. Please share this with groups that are not on line.

In the Dunifer case, Dunifer’s primary defense against the U. S. government’s request for a court injunction to stop him from broadcasting was that FCC Regulations barring low-power stations from getting a license were unconstitutional. The Court ruled that Dunifer did not have “standing” to raise this defense because he had not applied and asked for a waiver of the licensing provisions. In other words, the Court refused to consider the constitutionality of the regulations because Dunifer had not asked the FCC to waive those requirements which seem to make it impossible for a low-power broadcaster to get a license to broadcast lawfully. (The same Judge, early in the case, had expressed great doubt about the constitutionality of the FCC regulations. In this ruling she was refusing to consider the issue.) While we think the Judge’s reasoning is terribly wrong, the fact is that the FCC has been filing this Judge’s decision in other Courts around the country with some success. Read More

Call for Direct Action

There’s a lot of good ideas expressed here by Lorenzo Komboa Ervin, founder of Black Liberation Radio (Tennessee). The list of options is expanding, including the possible addition of acts of “Electronic Civil Disobedience.”

A CALL FOR A DIRECT ACTION CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE FCC AND THE NAB

There is no more current pressing matter than to deter the FCC and its master, the National Association of Broadcasters, along by various political agencies egged on by them, from harassing existing free radio stations in North America. These raids have included the especially punitive raid on Black Liberation Radio in Decatur, Illinois where the children of the station operators have been seized and the operators charged with bogus criminal charges to make them stop broadcasting. It also includes the recent raids of L. D. Brewer’s “Party Pirate 102 FM” and the criminal indictment and conviction of Lonnie Kobres in Florida. In all, over 162 stations have been harassed and shut down (even if only temporarily) over the last 18 months according to the FCC. Read More