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Free Radio Berkeley 
nternational Radio Action
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When your community needs a voice!

Welcome to Free Radio Berkeley. Founded on April 11, 1993 as a Free Speech voice challenging the regulatory structure and power of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Free Radio Berkeley has been engaged in an ongoing legal battle with the FCC. Until it was silenced by a court injunction in June 1998, Free Radio Berkeley was broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 104.1 FM with 50 watts of power as the alternative voice for the greater Berkeley/Oakland area. The original Free Speech mission to provide community news, discussions and interviews, information, a wide range of music, and more has now been taken up by Berkeley Liberation Radio. 

Free Radio Berkeley was instrumental in helping to to create an ever growing micropower broadcasting movement to liberate the airwaves and break the corporate broadcast media's stranglehold on the free flow of news, information, ideas, cultural and artistic creativity.  This movement, by creating an ungovernable situation for the FCC, forced this regulatory body to establish a very limited low power FM broadcast service (LPFM). Viewed by many within the micropower community as a form of damage control and a divide and conquer strategy, this LPFM service only allows the establishment of low power stations in rural communities due to overly stringent channel spacing requirements.  Even given the limited nature of LPFM it was immediately opposed by both the National Association of Broadcasters and National Public Radio. As a result of intense lobbying efforts by both these organizations Congress passed a bill that severely curtailed an already limited service. The National Lawyers Guild Committee on Democratic Communications responded to the initial LPFM rule making proceedings and is currently assisting with the LPFM application process.

Following the example of Free Radio Berkeley, hundreds of micropower broadcast stations have taken to the air across the United States and in other countries as well. Current FCC regulations mandate a minimum broadcast power of 100 watts for non-LPFM stations and require such a high cost of entry so that only the rich and well endowed can have a voice. Micropower broadcasting is helping to restore grassroots democracy, bringing back the concept of open and free civic discourse among all citizens. Further, it is a direct challenge to a broadcast system based entirely on wealth. A micropower FM broadcast station (pdf) with a coverage radius of 12-15 miles can be put on the air for a cost ranging from $1000-$2000. An affordable amount for any community desiring to have a voice. Most of our transmitters can operate directly from car batteries, thereby allowing the setting up of portable stations operating at strike lines, rallies, demonstrations, community events and fairs, and festivals. Drive-by radio! 

Free Radio Berkeley has two somewhat distinct entities - Free Radio Berkeley 104.1 FM, a silenced  broadcast station that was operating with 100 volunteer programmers, and - Free Radio Berkeley IRATE (International Radio Action Training, Education), which provides transmitter kits, technical support and training and is involved in national and international outreach and organizing efforts. Our transmitters and other related equipment are being used by popular liberation struggle movements in a number of countries.

On this site you will find information on Free Radio Berkeley. Our web storefront is also available offering the latest in micropower broadcasting kits, accessories, complete station packages, audio equipment and antennas. Also, check out the Micropower Broadcasting section containing information and links to help you start your own community micropower radio station.

Most of our online documentation is being converted to PDF format. Go to this link for the pdf reader.

"To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted,
registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized,
admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished."
- Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

"The state can't give you free speech, and the state can't take it away. You're born with it, like your eyes, like your ears. Freedom is something you assume, then you wait for someone to try to take it away. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free..."
- Utah Phillips

"The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."

- Stephen Biko 

You cannot put a rope around the neck of an idea; you cannot put an idea up against the barrack-square wall and riddle it with bullets; you cannot confine it in the strongest prison cell your slaves could ever build. - Sean O'Casey

"If large numbers of people believe in Free Speech, there will be freedom of speech"
 - George Orwell

"Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it" 
- Howard Zinn

"The FCC can kiss my Bill of Rights"
 - Stephen Dunifer

" does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority to set brush fires in people's minds"
- Samuel Adams

``When in the course of human development, existing institutions prove inadequate to the needs of man, when they serve merely to enslave, rob and oppress mankind, the people have the eternal right to rebel against, and overthrow, these institutions.'' 
- Emma goldman

"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the
freeness of speech."
Ben Franklin

"[T]he right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon ... has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right."
-James Madison

The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them."
-Patrick Henry

"A practical scheme, says Oscar Wilde, is either one already in existence, or a scheme that could be carried out under the existing conditions; but it is exactly the existing conditions that one objects to.  And any scheme that could accept these conditions is wrong and foolish.  The true criterion of the practical, therefore, is not whether the latter can keep intact the wrong and foolish; rather is it whether the scheme has the vitality enough to leave the stagnant waters of the old, and build, as well, sustain life."
-Emma Goldman


Broadcasting Kits 
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Technical Library
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Free Radio Berkeley
Mailing address:

PMB406, 1442 A Walnut Street
Berkeley, California 94709