PCS Electronics PCS Electronics - home page PCS Electronics  
RegisterSearchFAQAM & FM Radio transmitters shop UsergroupsLog in
Feds raid Santa Cruz pirate radio station

 
Reply to topic    PCS-Electronics Forum Index » Users share experience... View previous topic
View next topic
Feds raid Santa Cruz pirate radio station
Author Message
pcs
Site master
Site master


Joined: 18 Jan 2002
Posts: 3063
Location: Radio Land

Post Feds raid Santa Cruz pirate radio station Reply with quote
Wed, Sep. 29, 2004

By David Beck

Mercury News


U.S. Marshal 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 has been broadcasting.
No one was arrested. ``This is not a criminal action against people,'' said
Supervising Deputy Cheryl Koel.

The object of the federal action was Free Radio Santa Cruz, an FM
micro-station boasting from 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.''

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

But despite Koel's assurances, the people who lived in the house on Laurel
Street did feel acted-against.

``They got me out of bed,'' said Erin Calentine, 21. ``They were yelling,
`Federal marshals! We have a warrant! Come down! We're here for the radio,'
'' she said.

After being frisked, the residents were kept outside for about half an hour
while the marshals ``secured the location,'' said Calentine, quoting the
marshals' cop-speak.

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

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/central_coast/9792789.htm?1c

_________________
Best regards,
Marko - PCS Electronics
--------------------------------------------------------
Turn your PC into a FM radio station!
http://www.pcs-electronics.com
fax +386 4 2316 128
Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:19 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
pcs
Site master
Site master


Joined: 18 Jan 2002
Posts: 3063
Location: Radio Land

Post Reply with quote
Here's today's article in the local Santa Cruz Sentinel. It takes up
most of the front page, relegating the presidential election debate to
a single column on the right edge. There also are three large photos
in the print edition. The article continues to the back page of the
paper's first section. This is the paper's leading story today,
consuming 22 column-inches:

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2004/September/30/local/stories/01local.htm


Pirate radio station unplugged
By CATHY REDFERN
Sentinel staff writer

SANTA CRUZ - Federal agents armed with weapons and a court order
seized the broadcasting equipment of Free Radio Santa Cruz on
Wednesday morning, silencing the pirate radio station.

With station members, supporters and city officials looking on, about
a dozen U.S. marshals and Federal Communications Commission agents
raided Free Radio's home in a two-story Victorian building on Laurel
Street, felled the station's antenna tower and carted off several
boxes of transmitters and other equipment.

Tires on five of the agents' vehicles were slashed. No arrests were
made.

"It's a sad day for free speech," said Free Radio's Robert "Skidmark
Bob" Duran. "But we'll get it back. We'll get more donations."

Free Radio, which counts on contributions to air its broadcasts
featuring music, poetry and political views, proudly proclaims on its
Web site that its commercial-free broadcasts are "in defiance of
federal regulations."

The volunteers who run the operation vow the silence will be
temporary. The radio station has previously been warned about its lack
of a license, most recently when regulators visited the station in
May.

As the agents seized equipment, the station broadcast an appeal for
supporters to come to the scene.

Supervising federal deputy Cheryl Koel said three people were served
with civil court orders advising them the equipment was being seized
due to violations of radio station licensing regulations, an order
they could protest in court.

While the FCC says pirate stations clog the bandwidth, members of the
cooperative group contend they and similar operations have a right to
free speech and present a crucial alternative to "mass media outlets."
The station's oldest broadcaster is 74; the youngest, 11.

Federal agents raiding the radio station refused to talk to reporters
on the scene, so it was unclear what would happen to the equipment,
which Duran said was worth $5,000. The volunteers have equipment at
another site, Duran said, and they planned to meet with supporters
Wednesday night to regroup.

The raid was not a complete surprise, station members said, but it was
clearly an outrage to many. Stone-faced federal marshals were greeted
with a cacophony of protesters, some shouting through bullhorns, as
honking motorists responded to signs held dangerously close to
traffic. The crowd mushroomed to about 60 at one point. One woman
handed station operators a $20 bill while Jozseph Schultz, former
owner of the popular India Joze restaurant, handed out vegetable soup.

Residents of two buildings on the property said agents knocked on the
door with guns drawn about 8:45 a.m. The tense operation concluded
about five hours later, with the towing of three of the agents'
disabled vehicles.

As agents carried out Free Radio's equipment amid taunts from station
supporters, Mayor Scott Kennedy reminded the volatile crowd that the
City Council had passed a resolution supporting the station after an
earlier threat to shut it down. Kennedy called the raid especially
inappropriate in light of the country's "wars on other fronts." City
Councilman Mark Primack, who also was at the scene, professed his
admiration for those who toil outside the system "where creativity
happens."

Assessing the protesters' angry confrontation with agents, Primack
said officials do get to the point where they "relish putting the
screws to others" and that confronting the messenger is a natural
response.

In general, the FCC has five levels of enforcement, representatives
say - simple requests to cease operating without a license, letters
insisting operators do so, legal notices, "interim seizures" of
equipment and prosecution of violating pirate radio operators. The
Department of Justice decides who to prosecute, according to the FCC.

The FCC and the U.S. Attorney's Office declined comment on Wednesday's
action against Free Radio, except to say that the court documents were
under seal.

Kristen Phillips-Matson of Live Oak, a Free Radio listener and
full-time mom who brought her toddler daughter with her, said she was
there to ask agents the tough questions not asked by the mainstream
media. She told an agent her brother worked in law enforcement and
that "we have to work together."

"The public airways are supposed to serve the public," she said.

Duran, Free Radio's programmer, said the collective is comprised
mostly of "working-class people." A 40-year-old single parent who has
at times been homeless, he said he helped launch the station almost 10
years ago with members of Food Not Bombs and others.

The station's Web site states the FCC has "proved itself to be
controlled by monied interests." Operators have chosen to sidestep FCC
restrictions on programming and long waiting lists for low-wattage
broadcasters.

_________________
Best regards,
Marko - PCS Electronics
--------------------------------------------------------
Turn your PC into a FM radio station!
http://www.pcs-electronics.com
fax +386 4 2316 128
Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:19 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
pcs
Site master
Site master


Joined: 18 Jan 2002
Posts: 3063
Location: Radio Land

Post Reply with quote
September 30, 2004

Pirate radio station unplugged
By Cathy Redfern
Santa Cruz Sentinel staff writer

Federal agents armed with weapons and a court order seized the broadcasting
equipment of Free Radio Santa Cruz on Wednesday morning, silencing the
pirate radio station.

With station members, supporters and city officials looking on, about a
dozen U.S. marshals and Federal Communications Commission agents raided Free
Radio's home in a two-story Victorian building on Laurel Street, felled the
station's antenna tower and carted off several boxes of transmitters and
other equipment.

Tires on five of the agents' vehicles were slashed. No arrests were made.
"It's a sad day for free speech," said Free Radio's Robert "Skidmark Bob"
Duran. "But we'll get it back. We'll get more donations."

Free Radio, which counts on contributions to air its broadcasts featuring
music, poetry and political views, proudly proclaims on its Web site that
its commercial-free broadcasts are "in defiance of federal regulations."

The volunteers who run the operation vow the silence will be temporary. The
radio station has previously been warned about its lack of a license, most
recently when regulators visited the station in May.

As the agents seized equipment, the station broadcast an appeal for
supporters to come to the scene.

Supervising federal deputy Cheryl Koel said three people were served with
civil court orders advising them the equipment was being seized due to
violations of radio station licensing regulations, an order they could
protest in court.

While the FCC says pirate stations clog the bandwidth, members of the
cooperative group contend they and similar operations have a right to free
speech and present a crucial alternative to "mass media outlets." The
station's oldest broadcaster is 74; the youngest, 11.

Federal agents raiding the radio station refused to talk to reporters on the
scene, so it was unclear what would happen to the equipment, which Duran
said was worth $5,000. The volunteers have equipment at another site, Duran
said, and they planned to meet with supporters Wednesday night to regroup.

The raid was not a complete surprise, station members said, but it was
clearly an outrage to many. Stone-faced federal marshals were greeted with a
cacophony of protesters, some shouting through bullhorns, as honking
motorists responded to signs held dangerously close to traffic. The crowd
mushroomed to about 60 at one point. One woman handed station operators a
$20 bill while Jozseph Schultz, former owner of the popular India Joze
restaurant, handed out vegetable soup.

Residents of two buildings on the property said agents knocked on the door
with guns drawn about 8:45 a.m. The tense operation concluded about five
hours later, with the towing of three of the agents' disabled vehicles.

As agents carried out Free Radio's equipment amid taunts from station
supporters, Mayor Scott Kennedy reminded the volatile crowd that the City
Council had passed a resolution supporting the station after an earlier
threat to shut it down. Kennedy called the raid especially inappropriate in
light of the country's "wars on other fronts." City Councilman Mark Primack,
who also was at the scene, professed his admiration for those who toil
outside the system "where creativity happens."

Assessing the protesters' angry confrontation with agents, Primack said
officials do get to the point where they "relish putting the screws to
others" and that confronting the messenger is a natural response.

In general, the FCC has five levels of enforcement, representatives say -
simple requests to cease operating without a license, letters insisting
operators do so, legal notices, "interim seizures" of equipment and
prosecution of violating pirate radio operators. The Department of Justice
decides who to prosecute, according to the FCC.

The FCC and the U.S. Attorney's Office declined comment on Wednesday's
action against Free Radio, except to say that the court documents were under
seal.

Kristen Phillips-Matson of Live Oak, a Free Radio listener and full-time mom
who brought her toddler daughter with her, said she was there to ask agents
the tough questions not asked by the mainstream media. She told an agent her
brother worked in law enforcement and that "we have to work together."

"The public airways are supposed to serve the public," she said.

Duran, Free Radio's programmer, said the collective is comprised mostly of
"working-class people." A 40-year-old single parent who has at times been
homeless, he said he helped launch the station almost 10 years ago with
members of Food Not Bombs and others.

The station's Web site states the FCC has "proved itself to be controlled by
monied interests." Operators have chosen to sidestep FCC restrictions on
programming and long waiting lists for low-wattage broadcasters.

Contact Cathy Redfern at credfern@santacruzsentinel.com.

_________________
Best regards,
Marko - PCS Electronics
--------------------------------------------------------
Turn your PC into a FM radio station!
http://www.pcs-electronics.com
fax +386 4 2316 128
Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:20 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:    
Reply to topic    PCS-Electronics Forum Index » Users share experience... All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to: 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group