A New Twist on Electronic Civil Disobedience

Tom Ness, the dynamo behind a drive to collect dozens of community resolutions in Michigan supporting LPFM during its debate in Washington, is back with some new ideas – and this time he’s looking outside the system for success.
Ness’s “WNFC Manifesto” is a long read, but the essential plan is this: instead of starting an unlicensed station and building community support for it over time, why not enlist the community to build the station from the outset? Plan for a limited run of, say, two weeks – and pack those weeks with as much local programming as you can do. A key is having the backing of community officials and leaders.
When all is ready, flip the switch and await the FCC’s move. Ness believes the community-intensive and temporary nature of such an operation might protect it from a crackdown – and if so, then it’s a potential model to spread the good word about microradio in new directions. Ness is preparing to test this model in his hometown of Ferndale, MI, a growing Detroit suburb, and he would love feedback on the idea.
It resembles the UK’s Restricted Service License concept, which allows limited-duration operation of a low power FM station – just without the license part.