The ‘social left’ and community radio

I’ve thought about the question of should people support community radio stations like 4ZZZ.

My answer is, I have renewed my subscription. But, of course, people have to make their own decisions.

This may surprise some people given my chequered history with the station since 1976.

Front window of 4ZZZ on Barry Parade The Valley

On International Women’s Day I broadcast two speeches by radical feminists about transgender issues. 4ZZZ will not brook any critique of Trans people occupying women’s spaces. Some wild statements were made about me getting advice from a 4ZZZ board member on this issue but that is incorrect. No one on the board would talk to me as to why Paradigm Shift (4ZZZ fm 102.1 Fridays at Noon) was suspended.

I think the Trans issue is important, but, overall, it is not a political question affecting all human beings. For example, lifestyle choices by individuals are not politics.

Some people on the Left are confused, they think personal gender preference is more important than issues of class relating to war, of access to food, shelter, and work. Democratic rights that affect everyone.

I had no choice but to resign from 4ZZZ as an announcer because the Paradigm Shift that I anchored (with others) for over ten years is a political broadcast. We wish to change the world.

Curiously the people who ran the station in the early days of 4ZZ (they added another Z when they got high power) never sought to use what skills I have as a broadcaster and activist. For example, it was I who provided the people at IWD ’21 with the PA system owned by LeftPress that enabled women to press their concerns on a range of issues relating to poverty, work and housing in the public arena. I have received no complaints from the women who organised the various events held on International Women’s Day.

However Zed management did allow Andy to continue with Paradigm Shift, 4ZZZ fm 102.1 Fridays at Noon.

Andy is doing a good job.

Ian Curr holding up banner at Eurovision 2019 contest on the Gold Coast

In the great scheme of things what I think matters little … my beliefs are political not personal. We (Paradigm Shift and Justice for Palestine) did manage to convince the station to boycott the Eurovision song contest in 2019. I held up this banner when the organisers of Eurovision (SBS) were selecting their contestant at Eurovision in Tel Aviv in Israel. Then I placed the banner in the front window of 4ZZZ lit up by a light box made by a comrade from this and many struggles. It stayed there for some time until someone at Zed turned off the light box and took it down.

In summary, the main response I got from 4ZZZ subscribers and management was indifference and on three occasions I was met with open hostility by management. Firstly, when I reported on what Grandmothers against Removals were trying to achieve to reign in Department of Children’s Services (DOCs) taking their children. Zed Management initially took the side of a Director General from DOCs until an aboriginal woman explained to a board member what I was trying to report with obstruction from the DG’s media manager. On the second occasion the 4ZZZ manager objected to my satirical interview with Pauline Hanson. And on the third occasion the transgender question.

Come to think of it there was another occasion when I was blocked by Zed, 43 years ago 4ZZ management objected to an interview I did with the Senator for Queensland, Neville Bonner, when I questioned why he was prepared to go along with the Fraser government’s uranium decision despite the adverse impact on his own people.

Zed management claimed that the interview could result in the station not being granted a higher power licence by the federal government. The 4ZZZ manager at the time, Denis Rheinhardt, went on to be a big gold miner wreaking poison and havoc on the lands of first nations people in PNG, Torres Strait and Fiji.

Meanwhile keep an eye out for Pirate Radio, 4PR – Voice of the People

Ian Curr
4PR – Voice of the People
30 Aug 2021 (updated 2 October 2021)

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