San Francisco Liberation Radio Strikes Back

Having been served a $17,000 threat just prior to Independence Day, San Francisco Liberation Radio was given 10 days to respond to the FCC’s visit. The station’s official correspondence from its lawyer, National Lawyers Guild Center for Democratic Communications director Peter Franck, sounds more than happy to meet ’em in court:
“It is the position of the parties addressed that operation of the radio station cannot be interfered with by the government at this time. In order to respond within the 10 days requested in your Notice, the grounds for this position are stated here in overview form. This statement will be supplemented by a more detailed explanation of each of the points in a timely fashion.”
After documenting some 18 previous engagements with the FCC over SFLR’s 10-year broadcast history and starting the artful dance of legal argument, Franck respectfully requests notice of any further enforcement action, which may or may not stave off the Federal Marshals. Then comes the counterpunch:
“Your notice cites provisions in the law making it a violation of law, and actionable by the FCC, for persons to willfully and knowingly fail to comply with the provisions of the Act. It is respectfully submitted that under these circumstances, and at this time, any action against SFLR would violate the law’s requirement that the FCC and its personnel act in the public convenience, interest and necessity, and any such act intentionally taken by you would in fact constitute a willful and knowing violation of the Communications Act.”
San Francisco Liberation Radio is the only active microbroadcaster in the country that’s come closest to jumping through the hoops required by the FCC and the federal judiciary before they will even address the merits of a legal challenge.
A lot has happened since the Dunifer case, and because SFLR may have pre-empted some of the pitfalls that befell Free Radio Berkeley its challenge has the potential to do some good. It’s the FCC’s move…