Pete from the Prometheus Radio Project will be in Portland on: Sunday, Feb.1 @ Liberty Hall - 7 pm. He has traveled the US helping to raise consciousness about the Low-Powered Radio movement and to help local communities create their own LPR station. Don't miss this talk! The community you save may be your own.
20 people met in a small rural church in Southern, Oregon last night. Most of the people present are part of group is very close to opening up a low-powered community radio station in the Ashland area. The guest speaker was Pete, a member of the Prometheus Radio Project. The Prometheus Radio Project is a non-profit organization created by radio activists to facilitate the growth of the Free Radio Movement and present an organized demand for the democratization of the airwaves.
Pete has traveled the nation inspiring and educating communities to take back "their" radio airwaves. This dynamic organizer allowed people to speak of their frustrations of having no access to what is really happening in the world. According to participants there is no radio station covering important local news, local music or local voices. One woman tells the group that when the local issues are covered the slant is far to the right. One man talked about having to listen to community radio out of San Francisco or Seattle in the middle of the night because that is the only time when he can get the right signal. Others say they can stream community radio from the web from stations like Freak Radio, but even then there is no local community news. "We want to hear the voices of local poets and musicians and theatre. Ashland has this incredible theatre community that is rarely heard unless you have lots of money to see a play". "We could create some awesome radio theatre for Southern Oregon and beyond".
Others discussed the so-called local Jefferson Public Radio whose only news comes from corporate NPR and a once in a while community local talk show. "We feel isolated from the real world: our community, the politicians who are supposed to represent us, and a world that we know is at war", one man said. Others talk about the takeover by Clear Channel corporate ventures. "We have a virtual community and democratic news blackout in Southern Oregon, we need a community voice". Members of group agree.
Pete is a hands-on organizer. He told the history of the LPR movement and how communities across the nation are trying to take their airwaves back. He also got to the down and dirty technical issues of how to create your own LPR station.
"You have to understand that this is not a new movement, people have been struggling to have access to community information for a long time. Community-minded people crave to hear from each other. They are tired of the corporate voice. They know they are being led down a path that is not democratic and not good for healthy communities." "We continue to struggle with Federal Communications Commission and Congress who regulate radio waves in the country to allow people to be informed."
The group listens carefully. Many have not heard this information before, but they know instinctively that it is true. Others in the group have diligently worked to bring community radio to Southern Oregon and know the politics, history and technology well.
Pete tells how a few years back LPR waves were opened up to communities, however the Christian Right has commandeered the airwaves by buying up all the frequencies under the guise of Low-Powered radio. It is now using those frequencies to down link the message of eternal damnation from a satellite.
Pete describes the politics of the airwaves. "Your Senator Wyden is one of the people who has lobbied hard to give the airwaves to the corporate and evangelical systems. He has worked against democracy in this nation and in Oregon. You need to call him on the carpet!".
When Pete moves on to how to make a LPR station come true in the Ashland area the group begins to get excited. "Don't think you are the only one. There is lots of technical help available to you. There are 100-watt dynamo stations in Eastern Oregon and in the Grants Pass area and there are people all across the nation rooting for you. I just helped the Umatilla Indian Tribe open up their own LPR station. You can do it!
The group discusses what has happened so far to bring their LPR on line. They break up into committees: fundraising, technical and programming. There is a discussion about where to place the transmission tower and where to get the equipment needed for the studio. The people are excited. They talk about what kind of programming they want to see and if you have to be a "professional" to be on the air.
"Hell no! " says one local Indy activists. Go online and see what's happening at Radio Santa Cruz and Freak Radio. The movement is spreading the voices of the people!
The meeting ended with people agreeing the meet the next morning to go look at some rural land, maybe a possible site for the tower.
More information about the growing LPR movement in Cascadia.
The Prometheus Radio Project - http://www.prometheusradio.org/
The Prometheus Radio Project is a non-profit organization created by radio activists to facilitate the growth of the Free Radio Movement and present an organized demand for the democratization of the airwaves.
Free Radio Olympia : http://www.frolympia.org/
is an unlicensed free speech radio station broadcasting on 91.3 FM in Olympia, Washington. We broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We aim to serve as a community resource for Olympia. You can hear Free Speech Radio News weekdays from 6 to 6:30 PM, and Democracy Now with Amy Goodman on FRO weekdays from Noon to 1 PM and 6:30 to 7:30 PM . This schedule is subject to change.
In the interest of providing the community with a media outlet uncensored by government and corporate interests, a group of independent media activists, dee-jays, and technicians created an unlicensed free radio station in Olympia in the spring of 2001, broadcasting on 91.3 FM. In June 2002, Free Radio Olympia (FRO) was threatened by the law enforcement arm of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and temporarily went off the air in Olympia.
In September of 2002 Free Radio Olympia joined forces with elements of Radio Free Cascadia (RFC) and Oregon Underground Radio (OUR) to deliver a strong signal in Seattle for five days to protest the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) 2002 Radio Show in cooperation with the Electronic Mosquito Fleet , which drew free radio activists from around the nation to Seattle to participate. Our combined effort, Justice Airwaves Mobilization, JAM 101.1 FM, was one of the strongest signals of the EMF , broadcasting with 100 watts from a tree on the Olympic Peninsula, taking our cue from Y2WTKO , which broadcast during the protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle in November-December, 1999.