Another strange day in court for the folks at San Francisco Liberation Radio. This morning they got another chance to argue their case in front of federal district judge Susan Illston: this time the station’s legal team emphasized that it has eight years’ worth of correspondence with the FCC, which should (at some level) make their case somehow different, and their argument against the station raid and seizure process somehow more compelling.
Skidmark Bob reports a special guest dropped into the Free Radio Santa Cruz studios recently: Tracy James of Slave Revolt Radio fame. They talked about their microradio experiences and Tracy gave an update on the (SF) Bay area microradio scene. Berkeley Liberation Radio is alive and well and plans are afoot to launch a station in West Oakland. Recently Tracy, Bob, and fellow FRSCista George Cadman were guests on a show hosted by KPFT’s Norton Scooter, which is available via Radio4All.
The initial (AP) report of San Francisco Liberation Radio’s court hearing yesterday – on its motion to reclaim equipment seized in a raid last October – are somewhat vague. Liberation Radio’s using this motion as a plank on which to mount a challenge to the FCC’s enforcement protocols: it claims it was denied due process (i.e. it was not given a proper avenue for redress of its grievances before the cops moved in and took its stuff).
AP reporter Ron Harris describes the arguments of SFLR’s attorney as “meandering,” and the meat’s in the last line of the story: “[U.S. District Judge Susan] Illston took the station’s request to dismiss the seizure under submission, but gave no indication when she would rule.”
The FCC filed a civil suit Tuesday seeking an injunction against radio free brattleboro; today the station filed a counterclaim, challenging FCC licensing authority on several constitutional grounds.
The (hopefully) good news of this move is that the FCC forego the route of the station raid, preferring instead to exert a more diplomatic form of muscle. It could still try to fine someone, but it sounds like the heavy community support may be paying off in keeping the goons away. You never quite know with them wily FCC types…rfb’s referendum for local support goes down March 2.
Factual corrections: While the swarm of law enforcement involved in the raid numbered more than two dozen, only ~15 were federal officers. They were assisted by 10 San Francisco police officers (in contravention of the wishes of the city’s Board of Supervisors), although an IMC report cites Supervisor (and mayoral candidate) Tom Ammiano and SFPD chief Alex Fagan denying any city involvement.