When the FCC was denied an injunction against radio free brattleboro in March of 2004, Federal District Judge J. Garvan Murtha suggested the agency and station enter into talks to try to figure out a compromise whereby rfb might broadcast legally. Instead the FCC went to a Federal Magistrate and got a warrant to execute a station raid in June of 2005. Instead of playing ball with rfb, the FCC went and found a friendlier court. Justice in action?
This week radio free brattleboro’s attorney formally announced the collapse of all dialogue, as civil actions still wend their way through two courts in Vermont. Continue reading “rfb v. FCC In Stasis”
If there is one thing that still sucks about the online world is that it can be so transitory – data here today may disappear tomorrow. At least other info-storage formats degrade on scales measured in years. Whether it be due to site closure, redesign, or (blech) registration compulsion, it’s always sad when I link-check this site and discover what’s no longer there.
This particular run-through made me weep because some significant “primary source” material, especially relevant to the history of microradio, has given up the ghost: Radio4all.org and its news archive; microradio.net; all of the microradio briefs written by the National Lawyer’s Guild Committee on Democratic Communications; and the UK info-trove Y2Kpirates. Continue reading “The Internet's Relative Impermanence”
I am remiss in mentioning this, but the audio archives of KBFR, Boulder Free Radio, are going online via ClickCaster. The aim is to share much of the live, in-studio performances brought by the station over its four-year run. It’s great the station can leave behind such a memorable record of the musical community it served and helped to sustain.
Relatedly, the old KBFR blog has morphed somewhat since the station’s demise and still shows signs of life. This includes the posting of some KBFR documentary history, which is cool to read through.
Illinois: It seems that a group of folks headed out after the WRFU barnraising to pay a visit to Springfield, the home of Mbanna Kantako‘s Human Rights Radio. They found Kantako and the station in good spirits, albeit at extremely low power, thanks to a blown amplifier, which is now under repair.
Kantako celebrates his 18th nearly-uninterrupted year on the air in five days – a large portion of which has been archived on tape. Continue reading “Scene Reports: Illinois, Louisiana”
California: there’s been lots happening in San Diego. 106.9FM has voluntary signed off after running out of funds to broadcast. According to the station blog it’s hoped the hiatus is only temporary. Meanwhile Free Radio San Diego returned to the air over Halloween weekend, three months after it was raided and cleaned out by the FCC. The signal strength is reportedly much weaker.
San Diego has also recently been the site of some serious FCC enforcement involving other forms of unlicensed operation. Specifically, the use of point-to-point microwave radio communications between corporations in the San Diego area and “sister companies” located over the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana. The FCC has issued 11 Notices of Apparent Liability against 10 companies, seeking to collect a total of $86,000. Continue reading “Scene Reports: California, U.K.”
The station’s now regularly broadcasting from Common Ground on 88.7 FM. It has one main (75-watt) and one backup (40-watt) transmitter and is also reliably streaming online (direct links: mp3 / m3u). I had best luck listening by copying and pasting the stream links directly into player software.
The city’s power grid still has its flaky moments but otherwise it seems things are relatively stable now. I’ve heard interviews with people arrested in crazy-cop curfew sweeps, Slave Revolt Radio, and some excellent music. A recently-installed phone line will go a long way toward opening up the information flow. Continue reading “Radio Algiers Update”
Free Radio Berkeley’s 75-watt transmitter arrived safe and sound. It’s been re-tuned to 88.7 FM and is presently putting out about 80-90 watts. A shed’s been cleared out to serve as a full-time studio space; a military surplus mast has been procured and assembled; and a new antenna sits on top of it. Soon the station will be webcasting as well. The vibe is increasingly active as more and more people return to the city: there is much to do and many stories to tell.
There are approximately four workable microradio frequencies in the New Orleans metropolitan area, three short-term and one (arguably) longer-term: Continue reading “Algiers Microradio Gets Upgrade”
Radio Free Waveland is microbroadcasting messages of hope. This clip (2:29, 1.2 MB) from a recent interview with a volunteer who served thousands of meals at the New Waveland Cafe demonstrates the station’s function as a bridge between the patchwork of grassroots groups who showed up to serve the still-reconstituting community – they range from Seventh Day Adventists to organic farmers practicing anarchism.
“There’s so much animosity along class/culture lines in this country, it’s good to show up and be an example of how many untruths are told about people…that are, you know, not Christian, or just different, you know, the xenophobia that gets pushed. It’s been challenged here,” says Dave Sayotovich, “and the station has been a big part in that.”
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. Continue reading “Scene Reports: Louisiana, Texas”