A Call to Seize the Airwaves on Media Democracy Day

Media Democracy Day is October 17. The holiday, begun by a group of Canadian media activists three years ago, is designed to “connect existing critical and creative media with active social movements, creating a coherent message for public attention and local and global action.”
In this spirit, Free Radio Berkeley founder Stephen Dunifer has issued a call to action for U.S. microradio stations to speak as one on October 17. In conjunction with workshops held around the country to teach interested folks the art of transmitter-building, microradio stations are encouraged to coordinate a nationwide simulcast.
The idea would involve dividing the day of October 17 up into blocks for any station who wishes to participate. Those stations would stream their signals via the internet to a central server, which will in turn provide a “network” feed to other net-capable microbroadcasters around the country.
After finishing its broadcast each station feeding the network would turn around and broadcast the network feed, with programming provided by the next station on the schedule. If pulled off, microbroadcasters around the country would demonstrate a new level of coordination, extending their voices – and the voice of the microradio movement – in the process.
It may sound ambitious but it’s actually pretty easy: Indymedia’s been experimenting with “distributed radio open publishing” for a few years now, and individual microradio stations will simulcast comrades with increasing enthusiasm. Many microradio stations have formed “Emergency Broadcast Blocs” to relay anti-corporate globalization protests. This would be the first one, though, to be programmed by microradio for microradio.
The current political and social climate is surely ripe for such an action. It sounds like an idea whose time has come.