Grassroot Occupy movements have cropped up throughout the country demanding change in the U.S. political and economic system.

Occupy Redlands - which formed in October 2011 - is a movement which seeks to improve the quality of life in its community, the Inland Empire and the nation through their civilian voices calling for change.

But unlike many Occupy movements, the group will attempt to spread their message further through its own weekly mainstream radio program to launch tonight.

"It does seem a little bit of hurdle to get on radio, but it's not," Occupy Redlands member Kent Marten said. "We've gotten a lot done on a shoestring budget."

"Mic Check" will bring attention to issues in the American systems and inform people about how those issues affect citizens' everyday well-being, said Marten.

Marten, along with members Steve Kemp and Phil Courtney cohost the first segment, which will introduce audiences to the Occupy movement's history and detail Occupy Redlands impact in the community. Future segments will feature different members lending their expertise to a particular issue or topic.

In addition, Occupy plans to interact with listeners through a call-in portion of the show.

"We want to have real, civil conversations with people to talk about issues," Marten said. "We won't screen the call-ins... We want to empower people and encourage them to share their opinions."

And while some may view Occupy Redlands stature as more advance than other Occupy movements, Marten said it's not the case.

"People have seen Occupy sensationalized in the newspapers and TV, but many don't know how it all started or what it's about... A lot of us have jobs, have busy lives, and we're still trying to advocate change in our society."

"For it to have some negative connotation is insulting," he added.

University of Redlands Political Science Professor Renee Van Vechten said the movement's step to debut a radio show is a "wise move" on the organization's part.

"Having this kind of venue lends them greater legitimacy and credibility," she said. "It will help them solidify their base."

The program will give Occupy Redlands the opportunity to bypass mainstream mediators and give it greater control over their voice, she said.

Occupy Redlands hopes to eventually add a television segment to its outreach, but will see how the radio program goes before moving forward with TV plans.

"We don't know how many people will listen to the first week, but we hope it continues to grow," Marten said. "We're hoping to get the word out and connect with other Occupys.

"There isn't an issue that doesn't affect people."

The 13-week live radio program will hit airwaves on KCAA 1050 AM and stream on the Internet from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturdays.

Listeners also will be able to tune-in to Occupy Redlands' "Mic Check" show online at ustream.tv or kcaaradio.com.


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