What do a public access TV personality, an electronics engineer, a Vietnam vet, a libertarian congressional candidate, and a retired millionaire have in common? They're all operating unlicensed, low-power, 'pirate' radio stations in Tucson, Arizona. Making Waves follows their struggle to be heard on our publicly-owned but corporate-controlled airwaves.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) argues that low-power radio interferes with business, creating 'chaos on the airwaves'; low-power advocates say the NAB interferes with democracy. Meanwhile, due to loosened regulations passed by Congress, big business has seized the airwaves and driven the independent station owner to near extinction.

Armed with low-cost micro-radio equipment, the First Amendment, even a how-to video by a Michigan pastor, the Tucson pirates use unlicensed radio as a form of civil disobedience, protesting the lack of individual expression and diversity on the airwaves and the FCC regulations that make getting licensed next to impossible. For one station, this means providing the real alternative to alternative music. For the others, it means educating the public about its Constitutional rights.


Making Waves DVD