US marshals have shut down an unlicensed radio station in Boston’s Grove Hall neighborhood, said Charles Clemons, the one-time mayoral candidate who is the station’s founder.
Marshals could be seen this afternoon removing items from the station, TOUCH 106.1 FM, including an antenna, a black box, and a ladder.
An emotional Clemons said that federal agents had knocked on the door of the station this morning, saying they were going to search the place and remove anything that allowed transmission of programs over the airwaves.
Clemons said the station was an important voice in the community and vowed to get it reopened.
“We will not be silenced,” he said.
A US attorney’s spokeswoman had no immediate comment on what was happening at the building, but said more information would be released this afternoon.
Onlookers said they were dismayed at what was happening at the low-powered “pirate” radio station, which had made a point of serving parts of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, and Jamaica Plain.
“If this goes, we will have nothing left in the community,” said Reggie Sheffield of Mattapan. He said the radio station had helped him raise money for a funeral when his mother died.
Arthur Weeks of Roxbury said, “If you want to know what’s going on in the community, this is the only station that you can get that from. It’s a sad day.”
Listeners in the heart of Boston’s black community awoke each weekday morning to the Clemons’s soothing voice, the Globe reported in August during the mayor’s race.
Clemons told the Globe at the time that his station had filled a vacuum in the black community.