Tag Archives: N30

Radio ramblings: on Interference FM and the need for mass communications to sustain mass movements

Interference FM J18 flyer 1

In times like these – a post-truth world of alternative facts – having access to the tools of mass communication is essential; but then so it ever was, even in the pre-blog, pre-Twitter, pre-YouTube era (if you can imagine such a palaeolithic era).

In the late 1990s, a confluence of environmental activists, anarchists and socialists helped build a transnational anti-capitalist, ‘anti-globalisation [of the rich]’ movement, helped in no small part by energy, enthusiasm, tactical successes and growing public disquiet.

In the UK this growing movement necessitated (given the antipathy of the mainstream media) the creation of effective communication channels, both for internal discussion and to reach outside. In time these included things such as the SchNEWS weekly alternative news sheet, Squall magazine (for ‘sorted itinerants’), the monthly Earth First! Action Update and the EF! journal Do Or Die, each of which helped facilitate nationally (and even internationally) wider discourse between and amongst what were often localised campaigns and groups. As online technology and culture grew, so this movement also sequestered tools such as email discussion lists. Similarly, as video cameras became more of a mass market commodity, so too did this movement appropriate the trappings of television and film, either with wholly produced ‘video magazines’ (such as Undercurrents and iContact) or by providing activist-shot footage to the mainstream news programmes.

And then there was the trusty old radio. Of course, whilst the reception equipment for radio was ubiquitous (for all intents and purposes every single person in the land had at least one radio), the transmission side of things was firmly in the grip of those licensed by the state – big, fusty old ‘public’ bodies such as the BBC, or else avaricious commercial beasts locked into the current economic and social status quo. However, bar the legal niceties of radio broadcasting, in terms of the cash costs and complexity of technology set against potential audience reach and likelihood of getting away with it, radio – more specifically, illegal pirate radio – was a no-brainer.

So it was that in the mid- to late nineties a small group of people connected to both music pirates and anti-capitalist politics set about fusing these two worlds together, and providing the means for mass communication beyond of the boundaries of state control and commercial imperatives, to a political groundswell aiming at becoming a mass movement. It all came to a head in the lengthy preparations which built to the J18 ‘Carnival Against Capitalism’ (AKA ‘Global Street Party’ etc) in June 1999, of which one autonomous component was the ‘Interference FM’ pirate radio group.

There’s a decent summary of the J18 radio project and the setting up of Interference FM/Radio Interference, with links to various articles on the Pirate Radio Archive.

But anyway, a nice excuse to post these flyers.* Oh, and here’s a spread from The Big Issue magazine, under the groansome title of ‘MUSIC FArticle on Interference FM in The Big Issue #352 (1999)OR YOUR BUCCANEARS’:

» Article on Interference FM in The Big Issue #352 (1999)

Interference FM J18 flyer 2

  • The flyers were put together with torn-off bits of old paper, newspaper financial pages, the stickers from TDK D90 cassettes, and appropriated bits of Carlos Ezquerra artwork from his and Pat Mills‘ near future dystopian comic strip ‘Third World War’, which ran in Crisis from the late 80s to the early 90s. Oh, and look – EMAIL ADDRESS! MOBILE PHONE NUMBER!! REQUESTS FOR MINIDISKS!!!
Advertisements

THE MOST DANGEROUS PODCAST IN BRITAIN

Ian Bone podcast

Ian Bone‘s weekly ‘Anarchism In The UK’ radio show on London’s Resonance FM has now been archived on a podcast page, so even if you miss an episode’s original airing, you can stream or download it later at your own convenience 🙂

Interviews up currently include those with Ellenor Hutson (LCAP), Si Mitchell (Guerillavision), Paul Stott (‘9/11 truth’ debunker) and Sandy Hale (Liberty & Solidarity); older interviews with the likes of John Rety, Phil Ruff and Martin Wright will be added as soon as possible.

» Anarchism In The UK podcast page «
» Anarchism In The UK podcast RSS feed «

Laughing at policemen (all the way to Millbank)

Tomorrow is the Police Federation rally and march down in that there Lunnon.

Apparently coppers aren’t paid enough. Apparently police “regularly face danger in the course of their duties”. Apparently “the demands and requirements of the office of constable cannot be compared with any other occupation”.

So, our clip-on tie-wearing friends in serge have decided that they are, in fact, the horny-handed vanguard of the workers. They are even talking about the possibility of forming a trades union should their noble struggle for “an element of compensation for the move from a private sector index to a public sector index at the most disadvantageous time” be rebuffed by the government – rousing words indeed.

So, should you wish to get behind these brave custodians of the streets and their selfless cause, you can join their demonstration and let them know what you think of them.

It will assemble on Park Lane at the junction with Achilles Way from 10am, and will head towards Millbank via Hyde Park Corner, Grosvenor Place, Lower Grosvenor Place, Bressenden Place, Victoria Street, Artillery Row, Great Peter Street, Marsham Street and Horseferry Road, before dispersing at the Tate.

If you are concerned about the orderliness of the event, you can pop along to the stewards’ briefing at Central Hall at 8.30am (there’ll even be tea and coffee, and come to think of it, probably breakfast doughnuts).

If that still hasn’t set your mind at rest, fear not:

The event will be policed by the Metropolitan Police Public Order Team who are responsible for public safety and public order. Approximately 100 Metropolitan Federation stewards will assist the police to marshall [sic] the rally in accordance with the agreed route and plan. They will be ably assisted by stewards from Federation branch boards.

Don’t you feel safer already?

Well, it seems the porkers themselves are feeling a little nervous:

Our march has received a lot of media attention. It is therefore possible that small groups with any grievance against the police may seek to stage counter demonstrations. The Metropolitan Police are monitoring this, and if need be, will deal with any impromptu protests. We would ask that you do not react to any taunts, do not get involved and allow our Metropolitan colleagues to police as they see appropriate. We do not want other peoples’ protests to become the story of the day.

Ooooooh, narky!

After all, what possible “grievance” might anyone have with the polis?

If you want to find out, well, you could pop along to the ‘Boo A Bobby’ event organised entirely coincidentally by London Class War. Quite by chance they’ve only gone and called it for 11am at Achilles Lane on the very same day!

Similarly, FITwatch* have put out a call for those wishing to ensure that “violent trouble makers and threats to public order, including veterans from J18, Mayday and G8…”** are kept under overt surveillance throughout the day to assemble at the Tyburn pub on the Edgware Road (Marble Arch tube) at 9.30am.

But let’s hope that things go swimmingly for our poor ickle jacks, and that no one deflects attention from their cause, which obviously is more important on every level than, say, pit villages, or the poll tax, or the right to free speech, or poverty…

*That* ATNA Harry Roberts poster…To download a PDF of the Police Federation’s brochure explaining all about why they’re demonstrating, click the picture on the right! (It’s the back cover from an old fanzine, All Talk No Action #3… If you want an A4-sized, 300 dpi copy, go to my Flickr 🙂 )

* FITwatch is a group of concerned citizens who disrupt unlawful, distressing or downright harassing police surveillance units – ‘Forward Intelligence Teams’ – at protests.

** Hint: the ones with the blue flashing lights