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Pirate Radio Roundup: Albuquerque memories, Ottawa teen tantrum

Rebel Radio ephemera

A couple of interesting pirate radio stories passed through the transom this week that I need to share.

First, a writer calling himself “Captain America” wrote a short piece for the Albuquerque, NM Alibi fondly recalling an unlicensed micropower station called Rebel Radio that broadcast from that city’s “student ghetto” during the mid-90s, a period of tremendous activity nationwide for pirate radio. Although the station earned a visit from an FCC agent early on, Rebel Radio continued for nearly three years, airing

Eyewitness accounts of protesters chaining themselves to logging trucks. Reports from Food Not Bombs and Copwatch. “Dirt City,” the local music show. On-air performances by Stoic Frame, the Impatients and Anchorman. Local sex workers reporting on massage parlor working conditions.

A more bizarre story comes to us from the Canadian national capitol of Ottawa, where police arrested a 14 year-old boy accused of running a pirate radio station. The police investigation was prompted by reports that the boy made threats against another local radio personality on air. According to the Ottawa Citizen when the police showed up to question the boy he refused to cooperate and became “irrational,” struggling with the officers who tried to detain him. The boy has been charged with violating the Canadian Radiocommunications Act, along with charges of criminal harassment and uttering threats.

I don’t know much about Canadian pirate enforcement, so I wonder if the police often get involved in unlicensed broadcasting cases. My guess is that the violent threats prompted the investigation, which would probably have happened in the US, too.

Anyone looking for advice in running a pirate radio station should lean towards following the Rebel Radio example, I reckon.

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One Response to Pirate Radio Roundup: Albuquerque memories, Ottawa teen tantrum

  1. John Poet April 7, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    I really admire the pirate radio stations who have the guts to operate locally on AM or FM and to make a big public splash about it. They certainly deserve the thanks of all the shortwave pirate stations, because their operations have driven the priority for FCC enforcement on shortwave to virtually “below zero” levels.

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