Human Rights Radio Threatened
with Shut Down
SPRINGFIELD, IL--Mbanna Kantako, the founder of Human Rights Radio and
basically the father of the micro radio movement, has received a
threatening letter from the Chicago office of the FCC. I spoke with
station programmer Mike Townsend by phone this morning. According to
Mike, Mbanna says the feds will have to come raid his house and literally
pry the microphone out of his hand. Mike faxed us a copy of the FCC
letter. It is signed by Michael Moffitt, director of the Chicago office.
Moffitt writes, "You are hearby warned that any operation of radio
transmitting equipment without a valid FCC authorization or license
constitutes a violation of the Federal laws cited above and could subject
the owner of this illegal operation to the severe penalties provided,
including, but not limited to, a maximum criminal fine of $100,000 and/or
one year imprisonment, or arrest of the equipment for the first offense."
Kantako is directed to reply within ten days of the date of the
Human Rights Radio has been on the air in Springfield for eleven years.
The station is, or at least was, planning to celebrate its eleventh
anniversary on November 25. Mbanna says that if the station is shut down
it will amount to "an act of cultural genocide," according to Mike. He
added that there is no plan to attempt to save the station's tapes from
seizure, and that if the feds walk away with them they will essentially
walk away with a sizeable chunk of history.
"They will be stealing eleven years of Springfield history," Townsend
According to Townsend, Mbanna "welcomes their coming and wants to know
it took them so long," and he will take it as a "personal insult if they
don't bring the black helicopters and the SWAT team."
If anyone would like to write letters of protest to the Chicago office
Federal Communications Commission
Compliance and Information Bureau
1550 Northwest Highway
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068
Unfortunately, I see no phone number or email address on this page,
however, I'm sure Washington would love to hear from us on this as well.
San Francisco Liberation Radio