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.
Barnraising in My Backyard
Just in case posts are light for the next month or so, you have been duly warned.
No longer content to engage & enthrall scores of volunteers with a plain old radio barnraising, Prometheus and the UC IMC take the mammoth task of building a radio station over the course of a singe weekend in stride. We’re not stopping at the FM AIRWAVES; we’re setting our sights on freeing the whole SPECTRUM for use by democratic communications as we look to the future of radio! … While some of us construct the studio & raise the antenna to get WRFU on the air, others will set up access points to expand and protect [an] open source community wireless network!
Registration for all of this fun closes on November 6. We can use all the help we can get.
Scene Reports: California, Illinois
California: Skidmark Bob just interviewed Monkey of the infamous Pirate Cat Radio. Monkey scored an early copy of Stephen Dunifer’s TV transmitter kit and put Pirate Cat TV on the air six months ago; its 80-watt signal can be seen on Channel 13 in the San Francisco area. Programming consists of a growing catalog of DIVX .avi files on a homebrew server with a terabyte of storage, and the station is actively soliciting more content.
As for Pirate Cat Radio, Monkey says there’s about 30 DJs presently, and the dues-paying fundraising model takes care of their needs. At the end of the interview he says the station will soon “upgrade” from 220 to 1,000 (!) watts, mostly by moving to a directional antenna system. Continue reading “Scene Reports: California, Illinois”
The St. Louis Experience
I cannot claim to have participated much directly in the National Conference for Media Reform, given that I was paid to observe: busy recording, editing, and uploading stuff as the radio-centric house organ of sponsor Free Press. All of the conference audio and video is now up on their server and should be publicly available within the next few days. I expect Be the Media! blog traffic will continue to trickle in for a while as well.
Personally speaking, the best parts of the conference were not even related to the event itself. Thursday night’s benefit party for KDHX at the City Museum blew minds. Think of a funhouse for adults, with live bands and beer: it puts the vaunted Arch to shame. Then there were all of the friends both old and new who’d come into town for the weekend. The ratio of extracurricular fun to sleep that was taking place should have killed me (14 hours of crash time upon return home helped). Finally, I had the chance to tag-team (with Free Speech TV and Sounds of Dissent) an interview with FCC Commissioner Michael Copps (audio forthcoming), who artfully mostly-deflected questions on microradio, IBOC, and other sundry subjects. Watching politician-sweat break out up close can be fun! Continue reading “The St. Louis Experience”
UC-IMC Buys Post Office
~30,000 square feet, including massive open space, suites of offices, and crazy hidden nooks and crannies (where postal inspectors once kept secret watch on the staff).
$218,000 goes a long way in east-central Illinois. The IMC already has about a third of that on hand, and the rest, it is hoped, can be paid by renting out space to other groups and such. The potential for a performance space nearly dwarfs anything else available off-campus. The post office still maintains a station in the building, but as tenants ($1 a year for the next ten): Uncle Sam say hi to your new landlord! Continue reading “UC-IMC Buys Post Office”
Inaugural Insurgency to be Broadcast, Relayed
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.
IMC Raid Update
New info available: the request to seize the server running 20+ Independent Media Centers originated with agencies in Italy and Switzerland (see the comments attached to the story for more good info); the FBI and UK authorities were only complying out of respect for a multi-lateral law enforcement assistance treaty. Still, the treaty in question was written to cover some specific crimes, like “international terrorism, kidnapping, and money laundering” – none of which the targeted IMC was involved in.
The application of law for the sake of convenience strikes again….
Indymedia Under Attack (Again)
Today FBI agents seized a server that hosted several Independent Media Center sites. None of the story makes any sense: the actual confiscation took place in London – reportedly as a matter of “professional courtesy” that originated with a request from Swiss law enforcement officials. That request has something to do with pictures posted to an IMC of undercover Swiss police working a protest in France.
In a single strike several IMCs in Europe and South America, as well as IMC-Radio, were wiped out (although some have since been restored thanks to quickly-rigged backups). It was a nicely-timed raid, too, as the European Social Forum takes place next week. Continue reading “Indymedia Under Attack (Again)”
Freak Radio: Rebound in Progress
Free Radio Santa Cruz may be down but they are definitely not out. The station’s webcast is back online and it is being relayed on-air by other microradio stations around the country in solidarity. Reaction to the raid is pouring in from around the globe (hopefully material support is, too). A local benefit for the station is already in the works early next month.
The Santa Cruz IMC continues to collect raid coverage, including more than 100 photos, audio/video coverage, and reaction from Freak Radio volunteers. Links to corporate media coverage (neutral-to-positive in tone) will be posted in this weekend’s Schnazz update.
Update #2 – Free Radio Santa Cruz Raided
A team of Federal Marshals – some in riot gear – arrived at the station’s home during the 9 o’clock hour this morning. Residents there were rousted with the barrels of guns (including automatic weapons); nobody was in the studio at the time, however. Five FCC agents arrived after the show of force and confiscated everything.
When word got out between 100-150 people showed up on the spot to protest the raid. This included slashing the tires of the FCC and Federal Marshals’ vehicles, which stranded them at the scene for a time. Nobody was arrested and no fine has been issued against anyone. Continue reading “Update #2 – Free Radio Santa Cruz Raided”