Free Radio : Electronic Civil Disobedience


Free Radio : Electronic Civil Disobedience



Free radio stations, sometimes called “pirate” or “clandestine” stations, are unlicensed broadcasting stations operated by political and cultural dissidents to protest government restrictions on expression over the airwaves. Free Radio is a history of these unlicensed radio stations.The earliest free radio stations were operated by opponents of Adolph Hitler, who banned political opponents from the airwaves. Other anti-Nazi free radio stations were operated by underground groups in Axis-occupied Europe during World War II.After World War II, free radio stations such as “Free Greece Radio” and “Voice of Free Indonesia” took to the airwaves, protesting European colonial policies. By the 1970s, free radio stations were broadcasting to nearly every country where repressive governments were in power.Although a few free radio stations appeared in the United States during the 1960s, it was not until the 1990s that free radio truly arrived in North America. Free Radio presents compelling evidence that unlicensed radio stations in the United States—which number in the hundreds—are a response to changes in federal broadcasting policies. The policy changes have led to the domination of the medium by a few large corporations that use their stations to promote their financial and political interests, rather than the interests of the communities they are supposed to serve.



Publication Date



Westview Press


Boulder, CO


Communication | Social Influence and Political Communication


Table of Contents

Foreword / Louis N. Hiken --

1. Freedom Calling --

2. The Origins of Free Radio --

3. Free Radio and National Liberation --

4. Limits on Free Speech in the United States: Government Licensing and Corporate Censorship --

5. Pirate Radio: The Early Rebellion --

6. Microradio: The Revolution Begins --

7. The Free Radio Revolution: Free Radio Berkeley and the West Coast Revolt --

8. The Revolution Widens --

9. The Counterrevolution--

Free Radio : Electronic Civil Disobedience