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San Diego Escalates its War on Free Speech: Free Radio San Diego 96.9 Raided

Two activists are still in jail for defending the first amendment in the recent Grand Jury witchhunt. More activists are receiving subpoenas daily. Today the war on Free Speech in San Diego was escalated to a new level.

This morning, July 21st, at approximately 11AM, Pirate 96.9 was raided by the FCC.

Interview on radioActive sanDiego (.mp3) | Interview on Free Radio Santa Cruz | Please replay on your free, community and pirate radio stations.

The broadcast location of Pirate 96.9 was raided by a number of FCC agents with marshalls. No one was present at the location, so the FCC broke the locks on their doors, entered by force, took their equipment and left. They left a warrant behind them.

The antenna was taken as well as a number of other major components of broadcasting equipment.

Pirate 96.9 is currently off the air. More information at

Read a blog entry from just after the raid here: steadydietofnothing | more photos at San Diego Indymedia
969 raid photo, 2005-07-21

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FRSD 96.9FM Raided By FCC / US Marshalls

Click on image for a larger version

On Thursday morning, July 21st, 2005, the FCC and US Marshalls executed a raid against Free Radio San Diego. This raid (in a nutshell) took all of our broadcast equipment, including antenna, transmitter, cable, computers, audio mixing equipment, and other essential hardware.

It was understood that this raid was coming. Not from anything that happened as of late, but hey.. if you roll the dice against the FCC, there's a pretty high chance (roughly 100%) that they will do something else other than sit around and lament.

No one was arrested, all of our spare equipment is intact, and we have absolutely no plans to pack up and go home. We will be having a regular staff meeting to discuss the situation, and probably a public meeting as well. Our next announcement will be on this website, no later than 22 July 2005, 2100 PST.

Link to interview conducted on Free Radio Santa Cruz
[download mp3].

F the FCC

Free Radio San Diego has been raided, confiscated and shut down by the FCC. Despite recent threats and pressure on the unlicensed broadcaster, the station had continued its 24-hour music and information programming up until today.

I received a call about the raid this morning and was asked to go to the studio and witness what was occurring. After being given directions (I’d never seen the station’s location) I skateboarded down to the site. When I got there at about 11:35 a.m. the FCC was already gone. A few hair-dyed sweaty goth kids were hanging around the sidewalk while a news cameraman interviewed a young woman. I didn’t hear all of what she said but did hear “corporate? and “nazi?, so you’ll probably see her quoted on tonight’s news. I think she was interviewed by KUSI, and shortly after that a 10 News reporter pulled up and began asking inane questions. The actual news event was over. A couple of people presumably from the collective managed to get back into the studio and appeared to be trying to salvage some equipment, but I didn’t see them carrying anything away. I considered hanging around to be interviewed but I didn’t much look the part in my shorts, t-shirt and backwards ballcap. Also, although I’ve been on the air of FRSD a number of times, my application to be a DJ on the station was voted down, and if they saw me interviewed on TV I'm sure some of them would’ve thought I was an asshole. So I split. Before leaving I talked with two DJs from RadioActive who had come down, and they were leaving to get on their station and talk about what had happened to FRSD. They seemed genuinely angry about the raid.

The Federal Communications Commission does have the jurisdiction to shut down unlicensed broadcasts. The FCC does not, however, have the moral right or legal justification to make it financially impossible for independent community radio stations to get a license. They continue to defend the monopoly of the public airwaves by wealthy corporations. It is this crime against the public interest that the station refused to accept.

San Diego lost its most important independent media voice today. We now return you to your regular Soft Cock programming. Mahalo.


Update: the station's webstream is down (obviously) but the website and message board are still operational. On 96.9 FM, the static-y broadcast of 101.5 KGB is currently heard. Led Zeppelin never sounded so shitty.


F the FCC

I used to listen to the radio
And I don’t guess they’re listenin’ to me no more
They talk too much but that’s okay
I don’t understand a single word they say
Piss and moan about the immigrants
But don’t say nothin’ about the president
A democracy don’t work that way
I can say anything I wanna say

So fuck the FCC
Fuck the FBI
Fuck the CIA
Livin’ in the motherfuckin’ USA

People tell me that I’m paranoid
And I admit I’m gettin’ pretty nervous, boy
It just gets tougher everyday
To sit around and watch it while it slips away
Been called a traitor and a patriot
Call me anything you want to but
Just don’t forget your history
Dirty Lenny died so we could all be free

So fuck the FCC

Fuck the FBI
Fuck the CIA
Livin' in the motherfuckin' USA

- Steve Earle, F the CC

FCC Raids San Diego MicroPower 96.9

FCC Raids San Diego MicroPower 96.9

The Federal Communications Commission and US Marshalls raided the studio of San Diego's micro-power station FRSD at 11:00AM today. No station personnel were in the studio at the time, and no arrests were made. Approximately $3,000 worth of equipment was confiscated, and no reciepts were left.

David Grace interviews Bob Ugly about the situation and their place in the San Diego community.

Running time 35:00


Re: San Diego Escalates its War on Free Speech: Free Radio San Diego 96.9 Raided

not to be a spoilsport, but why didnt they simply get a radio license ???


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