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Press release issued by Berkeley Liberation Radio

On the morning of December 11, 2002, agents of the Federal Communications Commision confiscated the broadcast equipment of Berkeley Liberation Radio 104.1 FM. Using a little known legal tactic, the FCC acquired an arrest warrant for the transmitting devices.

"This is a free speech issue and the FCC is trying to prevent us from exercising our First Amendment right," said Bryan Smith (BPM Smith), a Berkeley Liberation Radio DJ. "If more people ran radio stations without their endorsement then the FCC would lose power. That makes them attack us but the FCC cannot govern us and they cannot extort money from us by way of fines."

The station has been on the air since the summer of 1999 providing music and information to the San Francisco Bay Area. Operating without a license, BLR has defied the media monopoly and federal government by exceeding the one tenth of a watt power limit imposed by the FCC. by exercising our right to free speech guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, we challenge the FCC's authority and demand that they return our community property.

Beyond the confiscation itself, we question the timing of this act of repression, as the U.S. government prepares for war. It cannot be our music that the government fears, but our speech. The last thing a government bent on war wants is a vocal opposition, and the last thing we can afford to lose is that - our voice. The only barrier to endless war is endless reason.

We, the volunteers of BLR, vow to return to the airwaves, with the support of free speech lovers everywhere. We refuse to surrender our rights to any bureaucrats.

Please join us for a protest rally at the Oakland Federal Building, 1301 Clay Street, on Wednesday, December 18 at noon.

This is our statement of purpose: Berkeley Liberation Radio exists to provide a voice for the diverse community within the Berkeley / Oakland area and beyond. Further, it is a vehicle that we establish to bring about social change. Consistent with a vision of creating an alternative diverse hybrid society free of sexism, homophobia, racism, and all other forms of oppression, programming on Berkeley Liberation Radio will be reflective of those goals and ideals.

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