Radio

The Airwaves Belong to the (Properly Licensed) People! Boston Radio Station Raided, Shut Down

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Reason contributor Garrett Quinn reports out of Boston on how the federal government keeps the fraying edges of civilization together: by raiding and shutting down a nice thing that made lots of people happy, Boston radio station Touch 106 FM:

An underground Boston radio station considered by some as the voice of Boston's African-American community while operating in Dorchester for last eight years was raided by federal agents on Thursday.

Touch 106.1 FM was shutdown after a raid by U.S. Marshals this morning, according to the station's owner and operator, former mayoral candidate Charles Clemons.

A defensive Clemons told reporters today that the station was shut down for operating without a license, something the station has been doing for years.

"We are unlicensed. It's point blank. We are unlicensed," said Clemons.

The station is a low power station with a range that does not extend very far beyond Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury. Agents, according to Clemons, took anything related to transmitting from the Touch 106.1 FM studios….

Universal Hub is reporting that Clemons was fined $17,000 by the FCC for operating without a license in 2008.

Reason's Jesse Walker wrote a history of scrappy rebellious radio, Rebels on the Air. Hat tip: Jeff Patterson.