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SFLR Statement on Raid

by sflr via email list
Preliminary station response to the raid on Wednesday. A station meeting was held tonight, any news?

October 16, 2003 SAN FRANCSICO -- Approximately 10 federal agents, 10 San Francisco police, and 5 FCC
agents raided San Francisco Liberation Radio (SFLR)
studios yesterday. The raid began at 11 a.m., and
lasted for approximately 2 hours. They arrived
equipped with battering ram and firearms, although
neither was necessary. The FCC confiscated all
equipment in the station at the time, including a 16
channel Mackie sound board, microphones, a computer,
CD, record, and tape players, and so much more.

SFLR and its supporters view this attack within the
context of media consolidation. Currently 10 parent
companies control the radio spectrum. Viacom and Clear
Channel alone control 42 percent of listeners and 45
percent of industry revenue. Since the passage of the
1996 Telecommunications Act Clear Channel grew from 40
stations nationwide to 1,240. In 28 of the 30 major
music formats, 4 companies control over 50 percent of
listeners, and the same holds true for two thirds of
the nations news radio listeners. A debate about media
ownership, competition, localism, and diversity is
currently raging in the halls of Congress, in the
nations court systems, and on the streets. SFLR has
contributed its view of grass roots media activism to
this debate, and for this it has been targeted.

SFLR has been a vocal critic of the Bush
administration policies regarding the war on terror in
Iraq and elsewhere, as well as the California state
and local policies including San Francisco‚s targeting
of homeless people. The Bush administration has made
every effort to silence criticism of the government.
Dick Cheney, in a rare speech just several days ago
warned against public dissent. Donald Rumsfeld has
clearly insinuated that criticism of Bush
administration policies is killing the American troops
in Iraq. And yet the killing of innocent civilians in
Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Oakland continues on
a daily basis. The next major anti-war demonstration
is taking place on October 25th, and includes a major
convergence in San Francisco. SFLR sees this
unprecedented attack on the station within the context
of these national and international events.

SFLR is a micro-radio station that has broadcast at
93.7 FM in the San Francisco bay area for the past 10
years.  It was started in part to be an outlet and
resource for communities that are underserved by the
media mainstream. SFLR has garnered much public
support for the work that it has done, including the
19August03 passage of a resolution by the San
Francisco Board of Supervisors supporting the station,
media diversity in general, and directing the SF
police leave the station alone.

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