Pirate radio plundered

The Week: March 1-7

Fernwood Autonomous Radio may have been shut down near the end of February, but that doesn't mean these pirates are willing to surrender.

Officials from Industry Canada arrived at the home of Fernwood Autonomous Radio last Thursday, Feb. 23, just after 10 p.m., with a cease and desist order — reinforcing the capital’s age-old No Fun City reputation, this time at the hands of the federal government.

“We had to let them into the house to take pictures of the transmitter and other gear and, if we didn’t, I would have been read my rights and taken into custody,” said FAR host Joey Chaos.

Despite the official veto, Chaos said things could have been worse. “I think they found the whole thing more amusing than anything.”

Not to be discouraged, Chaos and the FAR crew have already begun to explore their options, including going legitimate or switching to digital broadcasting. Despite the inevitability of its passing, Chaos says the loss of Fernwood Autonomous Radio will leave behind a void in the community.

“We feel that we have a community audience now, and a large portion of our listeners are digital,” he says. “There’s still a place for FAR, but we just can’t afford the risk of radio as a form of activism.”

Check out radiofernwood.wordpress.com for podcasts and updates about the radio station. M

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