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Squatting the Airwaves: Pirate Radio in Canada

An interview with Andrea Langlois and Ron Sakolsky

by Aaron Lakoff

Squatting the Airwaves: Pirate Radio in Canada

"Islands of Resistance: Pirate Radio in Canada" is a book recently published by New Star Books which offers a fascinating collection of writings on autonomous media making on the airwaves. From tactical radio used during street demos, to radio art, to indigenous community radio, the editors of this book take the reader out on the high seas to look at the often under-appreciated history of pirate radio in Canada.

I spoke with Andrea Langlois and Ron Sakolsky, two of the editors of this book, as they took a few minutes off from tabling at the anarchist bookfair in Montreal. Sakolsky describes pirate radio as "squatting the airwaves", linking this practice firmly within the anarchist praxis of autonomous direct action. Both of them talk here about various subjects, including the book itself, anarchism, radio in indigenous communities, and the revolutionary potential of radio as a medium, even in the digital age.

About the interviewees:

Andrea Langlois has been involved in autonomous media for almost ten years. Now based in Victoria B.C., she was an active member of Indymedia Quebec ( for several years, and has produced community radio for CKUT in Montreal, and CJLY in Nelson. She also co-edited the book "Autonomous Media: Activating REsistance and Dissent" (Cumulus, 2005).

Ron Sakolsky has been a radio pirate for over twenty years in both the USA and Canada. He is the co-editor of the book "Seizing the Airwaves: A Free Radio Handbook" (AK Press, 1998), and his writings have appeared in Fifth Estate, Social Anarchism, and Cultural Democracy.

Produced by Aaron Lakoff. aaronlakoff (at)

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