Pirate Radio - The Accused Have Their Say

Black News On Line - By Mike Best (Feb 2004)
  Throughout the court case involving three men convicted of operating a pirate radio station, claims were repeatedly made that local and national radio stations did not adequately reflect the views of minority ethnic groups.
That is why the demand is so high for alternative radio listening, they claim. After the hearing, the three men spoke to blackukonline.com about their feelings and the emotions that drove them to set up a pirate station.
 Cecil Morris
"The judge won the case for the Department of Trade and Industry (under which the Radio Communications Agency worked), under the circumstances and how he behaved.
It was a fair outcome, but very disappointing that I will never be able to hold a broadcasting licence. The black community urgently needs a broadcasting licence and to date, I see no genuine stations that really care about us.
 There was Choice Radio in London and others, but they sold out, as soon as they were getting some handouts from the mainstream.
 I commend my two colleagues for the service they have given to the community over the years. The only reason PCRL was set up was to give the community something that they could identify with.
We cannot rely on other people to do things for us. I will continue to encourage young people to further their education, get into the media and to be of service to their community."
Michael Norton

"I was relieved that my fine wasn't too great and I'm relieved that Cecil will not be going to jail. As far as the fines go, Cecil's is quite high.
 I think Cecil's contribution is going to be greatly affected with a five year ban. He will be unable to apply for a license, it's sad because it's something he has been fighting for most of his life.
 If the black community has any interest in themselves, they need to get up and do something about it, I feel embarrassed being a white person and having to say that. All the years I've worked in this media, black people appeared to be so slow in coming forward to help themselves. Over the years I have tried to include a bit of education into my programmes, hopefully it's help a lot of people.
 It's all right just to play music on the radio, but I think it is equally important to include a bit of history or something they could take forward from the programme.
 Young black people are more likely to listen to an illegal stations than legitimate ones and for that reason alone it's one's duty to get important messages over by whatever means."
Anthony Jeffers
"I'm relieved that the judge refrained from sending us to prison, but even though I've been convicted of this particular offence, by breaking the Wireless and telegraphy Act, I don't feel as though I've done anything criminally wrong.
 I did what I did out of frustration to serve my community, whom I feel are disenfranchised from having their voices heard in the visual, audio and written media.
 If anybody want's to look on me as a criminal because a court has found me guilty of this particular offence then that is entirely up to them.
 I will serve my community work and pay the fine, but in terms of feeling a criminal, I think there are others who have done much, much worse than me.
 My conscience is clear and I could sleep at night. If everyone left a particular issue unchanged, there would be no movement or no opportunities for individuals to move on. Someone had to stick his or her head above the parapet.
Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who have done so and I have to pay the penalty. The amount of people who gained inspiration for causes that I have been involved with are immeasurable and that is more important to me."


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