Zane Ibrahim of Bush Radio in South Africa has just passed away. I’d like to take the opportunity of his passing to share the story of one small thing that he did which made an enormous difference.
In 1997, the movement to free the airwaves in the United States was in full swing. There were approximately a thousand pirate radio stations, all defying the unjust broadcast regulations in a massive campaign of electronic civil disobedience. When William Kennard took office as the Chairman of the FCC the radio pirates were pretty worried because his last job had been chief counsel to the National Association of Broadcasters, the chief opponents of free radio in the United States. And in fact, within a month of coming into office, Chairman Kennard initiated a series of simultaneous raids on pirate radio stations, utilizing agents from the FCC, local police, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies. Radio Mutiny of Philadelphia (which the Prometheus Radio Project sparked off of), got raided shortly after, but responded with a public demonstration and open air broadcast.