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posted by:

2004-07-30 16:53:27
Free Radio Twin Cities History
93.1 FM

Two high school kids upset by the loss of a primarily local music rock station called Rev105 "Revolution Radio" (which was commercial), began working on a low power FM station in mid 1997. One of them had some experience in electronics and radio technology.

One of these kids joins the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Minneapolis and begins to be concerned about labor issues. After a while, several wobblies (IWW members) express interest in forming a radio collective. A meeting is held, a mission statement is drafted and accepted. Organizing begins, starting with a fundraiser in May 1998. 

In August of that year, a bunch of dirty kids start living in the park and shouting about a bunch of stuff that nobody really remembers anymore. Some called it the Minnehaha Free State, or the "stop the reroute camp".  The first broadcast was from "ABC house" on "Buy Nothing Day". At a power level of just over a watt, with a really bad antenna, it went several blocks and was intended for just that neighborhood. But it grew from there.

One of these dirty kids went away to college and met a woman who was also into radio. They lived in a nearby city and would drive back and forth to fix things when they broke.  Then this shady guy from Santa Cruz showed up and everybody thought he was a fed until he bought a whole lot of gear, gave it to the collective and split town.

The collective of DJs keeps the station running, and they fund it too. DJs (who can afford to) pay dues when they attend bimonthly meetings. Most feel that buying one less 12 pack of beer (or equivalent) each month is worth it to support the station. Fundraisers have also kept things going.

Now itís 2004 and somehow FRTC is still on the air after being in a handful of locations and going through about as many transmitters. They moved locations once because the FCC found them and told them to stop broadcasting.  The collective has also pulled off several on-location micro-casts: at the May Day labor marches downtown in 2000 & 2001 and in St. Paul when the Klan showed up in August 2001.

posted by:

2004-08-04 13:53:53
I heard that FRTC is temporarily off the air 'cause they had a mysterious white van sighting.
posted by:

2004-08-06 21:26:22
posted by:
Dr. Diogenes

2004-08-09 23:32:22
Regarding the current FRTC status...

Sadly, FRTC is taking a short break. The bunker we operate out of had a slight radiation spill. The 'white van' was likely not the FCC, but the FEC. The cockroaches are working day and night to contain it, and a brigade of mutant rats is swabbing away at a furious speed.... (See the next comment for the Real True history...)

FRTC 93.1 will return soon!

posted by:
Dr Diogenes

2004-08-09 23:35:49
The Real True Not At All Made Up History of Free Radio Twin Cities

In the middle of the last century, a great struggle against Fascism was waged. The end of that struggle saw America turn loose the power of the mighty Atom against Japan.

Soon, however, our former allies, the Rooskies, also got the power of the Atom. And that was deemed Not So Good by those who lived in the Halls of Power.

So the Rich and the Richer all across the land began to prepare to save themselves in case the Rooskies decided to use their Pinko Power against US!

So they had built a Bunker. Deep beneath the Minneapolis Armory, close to the office towers where the Cargills and the Pillsburys and the Daytons and their other rich friends all worked, was a safe haven for the Rich and the Richer.

And into this Bunker, to power it and make it last, they built an Atomic Pile, which is what they called Reactors back then.

Well, time passed. The Rich and the Richer moved out to the suburbs and the Atomic Pile sprang a leak. The Bunker was closed. As was the Armory.

In the dark, or rather, in the strange glow of the leaking Atomic Pile, all those stray high-energy particles were working their radioactive magic on the dwellers of the deep.

So were born the Mutant Rats and the Semi-Sentient Cockroaches. And the Bunker was theirs.

Until sometime in the late 90s, when a mysterious figure known only as the SaboKitty discovered the place. He began negotiating with the Mutant Rats and the Semi-Sentient Cockroaches.

At this time, the struggle against Fascism had moved from far away to right at home. The Waves of the Radio were cluttered with corporatist crap. The Halls of Power were cluttered with neo-liberals, neo-cons, and neo-fascists (and their friends).

Locally, the Minihaha Free State was cluttered with Earth First Anarchists and Militant American Indians, fighting to keep a highway from destroying their parks, sacred trees, and city. And their voice was Free Radio Twin Cities.

So when Operation Coldsnap used around 800 police to arrest 38 activists, the voice of the Free State needed a new home. Could they move into the Bunker?

The Semi-Sentient Cockroaches more or less agreed. They hated Corporate Radio and wanted the company, and they were Maoists anyway. No problem there.

The Mutant Rats, being genetically similar to the Rich and the Richer, proved to be a problem. You see, they had a fondness for the insulation that coated RCA cables. So they had to be fought back, with brooms and spitballs. Having no solidarity whatsoever, a few of them joined the Cause.

So if Reggie the Mutant Rat answers your emails, or if the station goes down because someone gnawed through the RCA cables, you'll know what's up. But rest assured, the Bunker will be back online right quick.

posted by:

2004-09-03 21:53:53
you are looney Dr. D.
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