Friday, February 13, 2009

Free Radio

Must admit I know very little about pirate radio outside of England, but here's a few interesting stories that caught my attention:

Florida: One Love Radio (ABC Action News, 12 February 2009)

.... the Winter Haven Police Department arrested Anthony Davis after searching his Lee Avenue in Winter Haven. Detectives found audio mixers and DJ equipment and a 100 watt transmitter that they say Davis was using to broadcast his reggae music style radio station on 87.9 FM.
Complaints about his station came from a local Orlando TV station, Channel 6 which uses the freqency for their TV audio. Davis called his station format "One Love Radio". A third degree felony charge of unlawful transmission of radio frequency was filed against Davis who told detectives he worked as a security guard in Haines City.

Israel: RAM FM (Ynet news, 4.7.08)

RAM-FM, an English-language radio station broadcasting from a Jerusalem studio, was shut down by police on Monday for transmitting without a proper permit. The West Bank station broadcasts Western music in an attempt to bring Israelis and Palestinians closer together. The station's headquarters are located in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where it broadcasts on 93.6 FM.... The station's headquarters are located in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where it broadcasts on 93.6 FM...The station attracts a diverse audience of tens of thousands, from Israeli soldiers and Palestinian students to West Bank villagers, English speaking immigrants, migrant workers and foreign diplomats. It is one of the numerous pirate radio stations broadcasting throughout Israel, which are often blamed for dangerous disruptions in airport air traffic communications and interference in regular radio broadcasts. (see also this)

Free Radio Berkeley - Liberating the Commons

'Within the first year after the initial broadcast of Free Radio Berkeley [in 1993], it became clear that the Free Radio Movement was part of a much larger global endeavor. Community radio is rooted in the struggles of people for a just and humane existence. Whether it was: Bolivian tin miners establishing radio stations in the late 1940’s as part of a campaign to improve working conditions; Radio Rebelde’s role in the Cuban Revolution; Czech citizens creating clandestine radio stations after the crushing of the Prague Spring in 1968 by the USSR; or the supportive role of community radio in the recent uprising by indigenous people in Bolivia to reclaim their natural resources – community radio has always been a tool of expression and organization... After the first coup against Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide, Free Radio Berkeley supplied transmitters to peasant organizations fighting against the coup. Transmitters also went to both the Chiapas jungle and the urban streets of Mexico City... Embracing Free Radio as a form of media expression that is genuine and real is the first step on the road to liberation from the society of the spectacle. Only by coming together as communities can people begin to: form the relationships that really matter, tell the stories which impart a collective identity, history and purpose; dance, sing and celebrate life together; and forge new bonds of commitment and support. Free Radio is the Peoples Drum'.

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