The anonymous operator behind WSQT drops another audio gem about a suspicious fire at its transmit-site. I believe this DC-Indymedia feature here speaks of the same event. Perhaps WSQT was collateral damage, but “Mr. Squatman” already believes he is a target of special interest by the powers that be. This partially explains the hardcore buildout of the station. It’s heartening to know this is all going down in “the heart of occupied Washington,” as Squatman puts it.
Mississippi: A crew from the Midwest has arrived in Waveland, Mississippi, where the eyewall of Hurricane Katrina made landfall. 30-foot storm surges left survivors literally naked – yet a tent city of sorts has blossomed among the destruction. “Radio Free Waveland” is now providing a 40-watt morale boost among those trying to make the most of a desperate situation (still no FEMA there).
District of Columbia: WSQT gave a fiery interview to the folks at Free Radio Santa Cruz this week. The station is currently off the air after donating its transmitter to Gulf Coast relief efforts and is also relocating following a visit from the FCC earlier this month. I’m a big fan of WSQT’s intensity: it is a guerrilla war, and time and numbers work in our favor.
California: Stephen Dunifer and volunteers with Free Radio Berkeley are assembling a 75-watt transmitter to send to New Orleans. Also, there have been more reports about Berkeley Liberation Radio returning to the air on a regular basis, although details remain sketchy.
Louisiana: The microradio station in Algiers is broadcasting community information, survivor stories, and any Katrina-related content it can find online on 94.5 FM. It’s desperately in need of volunteers to collect and broadcast news, as part of a larger community media center that’s opened up in the neighborhood.
The heart of the station is a 10-watt lunchbox transmitter donated by KRRR, an impromptu outlet that participated in an anti-Clear Channel protest last year in San Antonio, Texas. That is feeding a homemade dipole antenna held up by a mast fashioned with wood scavenged from damaged/destroyed buildings. The signal gets out pretty well, although with just 10 watts its primary coverage is neighborhood-level, not citywide by any stretch.
Back around the holidays CNN ran a story about a pirate radio station in D.C. calling for “massive protests” during Bush II’s second inauguration (happening this Thursday, with the festivities running into the weekend). The unexpected exposure caused WSQT, or “The Squat,” to switch broadcasts from the AM to FM band. The station is now also semi-mobile, transmitting with a five-watt brick which it claims can be heard for several miles. There’s apparently quite the engineer behind this operation, as most if not all of the gear in use is homebrew and built especially for the job at hand.
WSQT’s also posted some new audio to IMC-Radio: snippets of public service announcements the station’s been running in the runup to the inaugural action. Other tactical radio projects may be in the works and any streams coming out of D.C. will be rebroadcast via microradio (check with your local station for times). It was the 2000 inauguration protests that really demonstrated the power of the impromptu radio network model, which has only grown more advanced in the last four years.