From it’s beginnings as a working group in Dewey Square, Occupy Boston Radio has been one of the longest functioning parts of the Occupy Movement. Occupy Boston started officially on September 30th 2011 through a series of twitter conversations that resulted in an encampment in the heart of the financial district of Boston, Massachusetts.
What began as a festival, the sharing of ideas and common grievances, quickly became a desperate effort to survive police violence, the elements and to protect a parcel of land that was intended for the use by the people of Boston to congregate and practice free speech. In the early hours of October 11th, 2011 the Boston Police Department raided a second parcel of the greenway that Occupy Boston had spilled into as a result of there not being enough room on the original parcel to hold all the people that had showed up to participate. The raid on October 11th has been described as an ‘orgy of violence’, and effectively changed the focus of the encampment from making a better world possible to one of fear. Our focus became solutions for winterization to protect those more vulnerable in our society, as well as fighting for our right to be able to express ourselves freely. On December 10th, 2011 the encampment in Dewey Square was evicted. In the hours before dawn, the Boston Police Department removed and bulldozed the camp.
It was December 10th, 2011 that Occupy Boston Radio began broadcasting. We had no expertise, nor did any of us have the benefit of an education in broadcasting. What we did have, was a belief that a better world is possible. So we began broadcasting a very diversified lineup of programming that we thought would fill a void that has been a vacuum in our society, a free and independent press. Alongside our comrades at ‘the Boston Occupier’, and with partial funding through Occupy Boston, we forged a studio space at encuentro 5. In the past almost three years, OBR.fm (Occupy Boston Radio), has been broadcasting original programming by and for the 99%, with focus upon the voices of those marginalized in our society. We have broadcast directly from Occupy protests, held public forums, broadcast election coverage, and helped put together some decadent parties. We have participated in community events, and stayed true to the principles of the Occupy Movement.
As the crowds diminished at GA’s, and the social media buzz was waning around Occupy, we continued broadcasting. Through countless hours of learning and then doing we have spent enormous amounts of time and personal resources to continue . Along with the help of many members of the community, we have been able to survive though we face many challenges in doing so.
Some of us found something at Dewey Square. It wasn’t the drum circles, or the meals served to around a thousand people a day, or even the amazement on peoples faces as they experienced the oppression by our camp derelict. What we found was a dream and the ingenuity, or perhaps insanity to believe that we could accomplish this endeavor of building a viable independent radio station. Though our road has not been easy, we persevere to continue to build an independent media resource for all people. To build a resource that is centered around teaching, as well as expanding the voice of oppressed and marginalized people, and building our community. We envision an organization that will help others create their own media based organizations, and a media creation branch to support the success of those organizations. We also would like to become a larger resource for our own community, in helping our local worker and social justice organizations reach their own potential. We found our dreams of a better world in Dewey Square, and we found the many invisible people to our society. We also found forms of oppression that many of us didn’t even know existed. These dreams are what press us forward to to the realization that in fact, a better world is inevitable.
With our deep admiration, respect and solidarity for all Occupies across the globe, as well as the many organizations that have been, and are supportive of our efforts, we will realize the fruition of our efforts through the community that we strive to build. This will be accomplished through the cooperation and collaboration of many different groups and peoples.Through innovative funding, and the wisdom in our community, and just plain old elbow grease, OBR.fm will become an actual entity with Activate Radio. Much like the phoenix that rises out of the ashes, Activate Radio is the direct transition of OBR.fm. In order to accomplish this task we need two things, the expertise of our comrades, and the support of our community to realize our goals. To volunteer your skills be it physical or technical, please send a message to our email account firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the 43,000+ people that liked Occupy Boston on social media, and played a very important role in allowing the voice of the 99% to be heard from 2011 on by supporting our efforts with financial contributions, we need you! We need you to look around yourself and make a quick assessment. Has the world we are all living in gotten any better since 2011? Has the need for independent media that represents the needs of all of us rather than the greed of a few gotten smaller? If your answers are No, Join Us! Step up again, and help us be able to accomplish our common goals! Go to the OBR.fm web page and donate to help us fund this endeavor.
When we are able to attain our goal of transitioning OBR.fm to Activate Radio, we look forward to celebrating our success with a Launch Party to kick off our next phase in building this community. We will within this next year embark on a conversion to a hybrid of video broadcasting, as well as adding shows from all corners of the world. With your help all of this isn’t just possible, it’s inevitable.