NEW YORK CITY — On Thursday, thousands of Net Neutrality supporters will protest outside more than 600 Verizon stores in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. The largest protest is set to occur in New York City outside the Verizon store on 42nd Street near Bryant Park. Other Dec. 7 protests will occur outside nearly 20 congressional in-district offices.
Protesters will highlight Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to repeal the 2015 rules that prevent broadband companies from blocking access to websites, purposefully slowing down internet speeds or otherwise interfering with online traffic.
For more information on the national protests visit: http://verizonprotests.com/
Pai, who has scheduled a Dec. 14 vote to gut the Net Neutrality protections, has close ties to Verizon, where he once worked as a lawyer. The telecommunications giant has spent millions of dollars on lobbyists, campaign contributions and think tanks to spread misinformation about Net Neutrality.
WHAT: Verizon-Store Protest for Net Neutrality
WHEN: Thurs., Dec. 7, at 5 p.m.
WHERE: Near Bryant Park, 125 W. 42nd St., New York City
WHO: For on-site interviews, contact Timothy Karr at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other New York-area protests will occur at Verizon stores and offices in Lower Manhattan, Williamsburg (Brooklyn) and Fordham University (the Bronx).
“The protests are meant to pierce the protective bubble of industry lobbyists and yes men who've surrounded Chairman Pai,” said Free Press Action Fund Senior Director of Strategy Timothy Karr, who will be available for comment at the 42nd Street rally. “The outcry from across the political spectrum has been deafening. Pai’s effort to ignore the overwhelming public support for Net Neutrality only isolates him further from the people he’s really supposed to serve.”
People everywhere have risen up in support of the open internet in the two weeks since Chairman Pai scheduled a vote on his proposal to overturn internet-user protections. More than 750,000 people have used BattlefortheNet.com’s call tool to urge lawmakers in Washington to condemn the Pai’s plan to destroy Net Neutrality.
On Wednesday, more than 150 actors, artists and musicians, including Neko Case, Alyssa Milano, Tom Morello, Graham Nash and Wil Wheaton, sent an open letter supporting the Dec. 7 protests and urging Congress to stop Pai’s vote to end Net Neutrality.
BattlefortheNet.com is a collaborative effort of Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and Free Press Action Fund. These organizations also run a massive grassroots-organizing initiative called Team Internet, which involves nearly half a million people who are willing to take their Net Neutrality activism from the internet to the streets. The coalition was instrumental in organizing millions of people across the United States in support of the FCC’s 2015 decision to ground Net Neutrality protections in Title II of the Communications Act.