Mass of Marshals Descend on San Francisco Liberation Radio

According to several reports, more than two dozen Federal Marshals (armed with a battering ram) and “several” FCC agents hit San Francisco Liberation Radio‘s studios around midday today. They had arrest warrants for the equipment; over the course of several hours the entire station was cleaned out (a more accurate term might be ransacked). Everyone at the station is physically okay.
So much for community support: even though the city of San Francisco has endorsed SFLR, the feds flexed their muscles today. It’s unclear whether local law enforcement agencies participated in the raid (the city’s resolution in support of the station urges local non-cooperation). Continue reading “Mass of Marshals Descend on San Francisco Liberation Radio”

San Francisco to FCC: Hands off SFLR

This time, the vote was unanimous: the resolution condemning the FCC’s moves against San Francisco Liberation Radio got the support of the city’s full 11-member Board of Supervisors at its meeting this afternoon. Not only does the resolution ask the FCC to keep its mitts off SFLR, but it also “urges state and local law enforcement officials to refrain from involvement in activities that prevent San Francisco Liberation Radio 93.7 FM and other diverse local media from providing healthy democratic local media in the San Francisco Bay Area.”
That should keep most of the dogs at bay, but the FCC doesn’t have to listen to the city if it doesn’t want to. Usually the agency is loath to stir up publicity for a pirate, and while SFLR isn’t the first microradio station to get an endorsement from its hometown, the action can’t hurt. Free Speech Radio News is also airing a story on SFLR and its recent struggles on Wednesday.

SF Liberation Radio: First Step Toward City Endorsement

On Thursday the San Francisco City Services Committee approved a resolution supporting San Francisco Liberation Radio in its struggle with the FCC. The vote was 2-1; the lone dissenter was concerned with the city butting in on a “federal issue,” not with the station’s unlicensed status. The full Board of Supervisors takes up the resolution tomorrow.

Heads Roll @ Ibiquity; LPFM Forced Off the Air; Berkeley Liberation Radio Alive and Well

Some news that didn’t make the headlines this week: Ibiquity Digital Radio has fired three executives over the ongoing flap involving the inferior sound quality of the IBOC “HD Radio” technology.
Of the three, the departure of E. Glynn Walden is the most notable: he’s been the company’s main contact for the broadcast industry, having worked on the IBOC system since 1989. Walden was also responsible for all testing of the new technology. Ibiquity says the departures are due to “cost reasons,” but methinks the company is shaking up its management after the current team gave birth to a digital dog. Continue reading “Heads Roll @ Ibiquity; LPFM Forced Off the Air; Berkeley Liberation Radio Alive and Well”

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.” Continue reading “San Francisco Liberation Radio Strikes Back”

San Francisco Liberation Radio Gets FCC Visit, $17,000 Threat

From SF Indymedia:
“In what may portend a US Marshal-backed raid and seizure, San Francisco Liberation Radio received a courtesy call by FCC agents, who requested permission to inspect the premises and see a broadcast permit, on 7/2. Unlike its East Bay microradio cousins, San Francisco Liberation Radio (93.7 FM) has filed several FCC license applications, which may provide the legal clout to mount a vigorous First Amendment defense. More importantly, SFLR will be relying on the support of its community, including local politicos, as it wages a campaign to safeguard our right to community microradio. SFLR was given a letter warning against unauthorized broadcasting and threatened with jail time and $17,000 in fines…”
The station reportedly has 10 days to respond; it has attempted to apply for a license more than once (for both a regular FM station license and an LPFM one, although there are none available in San Francisco). SFLR has been (mostly) broadcasting for 10 years now, and this is not the first visit the FCC has paid to the station, but it sounds like the enforcement ball is finally rolling on its case. The Enforcement Action Database will be updated later tonight. Continue reading “San Francisco Liberation Radio Gets FCC Visit, $17,000 Threat”

New Strategy: First Moves

As the FCC begins processing the first wave of new low power FM station licenses, microradio advocates who feel the government hasn’t gone far enough to open access to the airwaves are shifting into offensive mode.
Just last month, A cadre of former, current and future unlicensed station operators gathered in San Francisco and created the Micropower Action Coalition (MAC). MAC is designed to further organize microradio into a cohesive movement with firm goals in mind.
There are six points to MAC’s Action Platform; one of them was tested in battle this month, and the preliminary results look promising. Continue reading “New Strategy: First Moves”