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Free Radio Santa Cruz: Wikis


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Broadcast area Santa Cruz, California
Branding Free Radio Santa Cruz
Frequency 101.1 (MHz) (formerly 96.3MHz and 89.3MHz)
First air date Spring 1995
Format Freeform
ERP 200 watts [1]
Class Pirate
Owner The Free Radio Santa Cruz Collective
Webcast Listen Live

Free Radio Santa Cruz (FRSC) is an unlicensed radio station in Santa Cruz, California, USA. The station has been on the air since Spring, 1995; its broadcast content is a mix of daily news, music, and cultural programs, produced both locally and nationally. Politically, many of the shows can be characterized as progressive, leftist, and/or anarchist.

Because FRSC does not have a license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the station is in open violation of US federal regulations. The station argues that it does not need such a license because the licensing process and fees imposed by the federal government effectively amount to an unjustifiable restriction upon speech, a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Free Radio Santa Cruz allows individuals in the community to have their own shows, and encourages participation through donations, membership in the broadcasting collective, and calling in live during shows.

On September 29, 2004, the station was raided by agents of the FCC, backed by federal marshals armed with assault rifles. No arrests were made, but the agents shut down the station and physically seized nearly all of the equipment, including computers, mixing boards, microphones, headphones, CD players, and CDs. The equipment was never returned.

However, with a strong showing of community support, the station was streaming online again within 48 hours and transmitting at 101.1 FM less than a month after the raid. FRSC continues to stream and broadcast 24 hours a day.


  1. ^ "Pirate radio station marks 7 years on the air". Santa Cruz Sentinel. April 1, 2002.  

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