Dutch Radio Pirates Converging on Amsterdam To Protest Crackdown and the Auctioning of Dutch Airwaves

The title pretty much sums it up. It goes down on Saturday in an event called 100,000 ANTENNAS – FREE RADIO MANIFESTATION. Here’s some background from Indymedia:

The Dutch government’s recently implemented Zerobase Radio Frequency Policy is designed to control and regulate free use of the ether by commercial radio stations. On May 23 this year most available space on the Dutch airwaves was auctioned off to the highest bidder. It should come as no surprise to anyone that as a result of this auction it has become clear that for the next eight years only the biggest, most commercially and mainstream oriented stations will be able to exploit the remaining Dutch frequencies. The government’s claim to preserve diversity in the new airwave distribution has proven to be a fraud.

The ZeroBase Policy acknowledges only two kinds of radio: public and commercial. Any radio formats that don’t fit within either of these categories have in effect become criminal organisations. Zerobase’s nasty little brother “Project Etherflits”, an initiative of the Department of Economic Affairs, has since March of this year been pro-actively identifying and tracking “illegal” broadcasters throughout the North and East of the country, confiscating studio equipment and imposing large fines. Many stations have already been forced off the air. Recently strong rumours have been circulating that the mayor of Amsterdam has granted permission to use police and riot-control forces to get rid of the city’s Free Radio stations – Radio 100, Radio Patapoe and Radio de Vrije Keyser. …

During its twenty-five years of existence Dutch Free Radio has been a beacon of Dutch and international fringe cultures, alternative political action and social change. An extraordinarily diverse range of radio makers have seized the chance to express and promote their culture and present [counter]information in a way that would be impossible under the rules and regulations of the so-called “free” market.

Free Radio is an initiator of and participant in an important broad (sub)cultural coalition. Because of the ill-defined definitions of legislators, THE CONTINUING EXISTENCE OF FREE RADIO IN THE NETHERLANDS IS NOW UNDER SERIOUS THREAT.


The broadcasts of this event will be webcast by Netherlands Indymedia.

I will discuss this and the current US pirate scene in an interview with John Anderson, of DIYmedia.net, on today’s mediageek radio show, airing 5:30 PM Fridays on community radio WEFT, and archived shortly thereafter here.






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