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

Those Opposed

Philip Tymon’s been a busy man (again). He’s part of the National Lawyer’s Guild Committee on Democratic Communications, and he’s going through all of the comments filed so far during the FCC’s ongoing LPFM rulemaking machinations. While this list in no way is meant to be a complete overview of who’s saying what, it is a good snapshot in how the two sides are arguing their case.

Last week, we heard from our friends. Now the foes sound off – judge for yourself whether the arguments are worthy.

I have summarized about 100 of the comments received by the FCC in the microradio proceeding. I believe there are about 150-160 total. While I went through them fairly randomly, I think I got more of the in favor than opposing. Therefore, when I post the complete summaries, there will probably be a lot more in opposition. I am posting a partial list for those who might want to start looking it over now. I have decided to group them by state. Read More