Radio Summer: Takin' it to the Streets!

Prometheus is touring in the Northwest meeting with working class people who are organizing in the face of deep budget cuts, growing poverty, and record military spending. As communities continue to come under attack by an unyielding corporate agenda, the mainstream media consistently fail to represent the voices and stories of ordinary people bearing the brunt of these policies. Low power radio offers a unique chance for communities to build and control their own media outlets. 

National Organizer Jeff Rousset was in Portland attending the National Conventions of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Veterans for Peace, and the Civilian-Soldier Alliance. These three groups are at the forefront of building a movement led by veterans and active-duty service members to end U.S. wars.

IVAW's Northeast Field Organizer Chantelle Bateman, a veteran of the Iraq War, said "It's time to connect the growing poverty in this country with our outrageous military spending. It's time to talk about veterans being sent on multiple deployments, then being denied healthcare, employment, housing, and human rights. IVAW is excited to apply for community radio licenses to put veterans' and soldiers' voices on the air in the struggle to reclaim our right to heal. Corporate news won't say it, but we will: It's time to bring the troops home now."

Military spending abroad is draining resources at home. Poor and homeless people are growing in numbers, and their voices, like those of antiwar soldiers and veterans, are excluded from mainstream media. In Portland, Sisters of the Road, a homeless-run cafe, as well as an organizing and advocacy group to end poverty, is gearing up to apply for a station and collaborate with other local and regional allies.

In Eugene, Oregon, the Community Alliance of Lane County and Helios Resource Center both hosted Radio Summer events where we explained the current opportunity to start a station. Local groups there are working towards sustainable living and diverse representation of voices on the airwaves.

Across Oregon we have begun conversations with immigrant and rural workers to apply for licenses.  Besides reaching out to new groups about starting stations, we also visited a couple of existing stations that testify to the powerful potential of community radio. In Woodburn, OR, KPCN, is the low power FM station belonging to PCUN, Oregon's farmworkers' union. It was Prometheus' tenth barnraising. Today, KPCN is expanding. They are constructing new office buildings that are some of the most sustainable and energy-efficient in the country. With over 400 volunteers, KPCN is growing and empowering many new leaders.

We also visited KBOO, Portland's high-power community station. KBOO's rich history began more than 30 years ago. Today, more than 500 volunteers help make it a premier investigative news source in the area, and an important center for community engagement.

Upcoming events:

  • Wednesday 8/10, we'll be in Seattle, WA doing an event at Hollow Earth Radio (see facebook event).
  • Thursday 8/11, we're going to KOWA, a low power FM that's part of Media Island, community media infrastructure in Olympia, WA.  Radio Summer Event startsat 7 PM 816 S Adams Street.
  • Friday 8/12, we might meet up with groups in Tacoma, WA, then visit Coffee Strong, the G.I. coffeehouse outside Ft. Lewis.

For information on these upcoming events call Jeff at 845-642-8145 or email him at