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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Colin Powell wants your children; Michael Powell wants your transmitters

The FCC (Fascist Communication Consolidators) is raiding left-wing micro-radio stations, raiding their homes and taking their equipment. I first read about a raid on KFAR "pirate radio" in Knoxville via South Knox Bubba; now it's Free Radio Santa Cruz in California. (BTW, my niece Beth and her boyfriend Jeremy are students at UCSC. Hi, Beth!)
Guns drawn, agents of the U.S. Marshals Service served a warrant on a tiny Santa Cruz pirate radio station early Wednesday, rousting and frisking the pajama-clad residents of the co-op house from which the station had been broadcasting. No one was arrested.

"This is not a criminal action against people," said Supervising Deputy Cheryl Koel.

The target was Free Radio Santa Cruz, an FM micro-station boasting 35 to 40 watts of power and offering round-the-clock music, activism and other local programming, in addition to such national programming as Radio Pacifica's "Democracy Now"-- all in defiance of federal licensing laws.

The blue-jacketed marshals, along with agents of the Federal Communications Commission, dismantled the station's equipment and carried it to a waiting pickup with a camper shell as a crowd of perhaps 60 people yelled "Shame! Shame!" and "Go home!"

Residents, programmers, friends of alternative radio and enemies of corporate media were joined by two city council members, one council candidate and two congressional candidates. They milled around on the sidewalk and in the street, careful to avoid traffic.

Culinary consultant Joseph Schultz, founder of the legendary but now defunct India Joze, brought vegetable soup.
Mmmm...vegetable soup. (Really--that was in the Mercury News article!)