We received bad news from Spain: the government is putting financial pressure on the free community radios in the Asturias province. Small, autonomous radio stations were never legalised and are now threatened with huge fines up to € 500.000. We were asked to join a letter writing campaign, and agreed (See the pdf of the letter, sent today to the Communication Autrhority of Asturias)
In fact, this seems to be part of a larger campaign of the Spanish government against freedom of information, related to the campaing in January against SOPA and PIPA by Wikipedia and other websites. The EUobserver reports. “Wikipedia’s public opposition to Sopa follows the adoption by the Spanish government of the controversial Sinde bill, which was passed earlier this month following US diplomatic pressure.
Like Sopa, Sinde creates a government body with powers to force internet service providers to block sites alleged to have infringed copyright. Copyright holders will also have the right to lobby the government body to close down sites”.
The history and present time of Spain teaches us that fascism is never far away, and should always be countered. Asturias was a hotspot in Spains civil war won by fascism, and the fact that nowadays anti-fascist radio stations like Radio QK are under attack should be a warning. Especially now that a movement of normal Spaniards is rising up against the interests of politics and finance, freedom of information is essential for social progress to succeed. We know it, they know it.
The influence of fascist forces in southern Europe should not be underestimated, as Professor Vicente Navarro writes: “As just one example, Spain’s Supreme Court has taken Judge Baltasar Garzon, who used to be a member himself of the Court, to trial for daring to inquire about crimes committed by General Franco’s fascist regime. It is not fully comprehended outside Spain just how influential the ultra-right-wing forces still are within the Spanish state. They dominate political culture in many different ways, including control of the major media. There are no major left or left-of-center media in Spain, or in the other countries in this group”.
We as KSU are also using the freedom of information on the internet to spread our message to others, share analyses of events and work towards a better future. We believe this freedom of information should always be protected. Therefore, together with others like the Community Media Forum Europe, we support this campaign against the crackdown of freedom of information in the Asturian airwaves.