WASHINGTON — A coalition of Net Neutrality advocates plan a large protest outside Federal Communications Commission headquarters on Dec. 14 before the agency votes later that morning on Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to undo the open-internet protections. The Net Neutrality Wake-Up Call Rally is hosted by Voices for Internet Freedom — a coalition of groups focused on the digital rights of communities of color, including the Center for Media Justice, Color Of Change, Free Press Action Fund, 18 Million Rising and the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
In late November, Pai scheduled the Dec. 14 vote on his plan to overturn nearly all of the Net Neutrality safeguards put in place during the Obama administration. If the FCC adopts Pai’s proposal, internet users will be exposed to blocking, throttling and paid prioritization of online content by the handful of internet service providers that control access in the United States. The loss of Net Neutrality would have a disproportionately severe impact on people of color who rely on an open internet to challenge systemic racism, seek out educational and economic opportunities, combat dehumanizing narratives and fight for justice.
Since Pai’s announcement, more than 750,000 people have called Congress to urge lawmakers to stop the FCC’s proposal from going forward. On Dec. 7, tens of thousands of people participated in protests at more than 700 locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
WHAT: Large majorities of Americans on both the left and right agree that internet users should be able to access any websites without cable and phone companies blocking, slowing down or throttling their internet connections. Voices for Internet Freedom is hosting the Net Neutrality Wake-Up Call Rally to sound the alarm about FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s threat to a free and open internet.
WHO: Confirmed presenters include:
Rep. Keith Ellison
Rep. Ro Khanna
Rep. Maxine Waters
Jamilah Lemieux — former EBONY magazine editor; cultural critic
Symone D. Sanders — CNN contributor; former press secretary for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign
Amanda Seales — actress on HBO’s Insecure; musician and activist
Representatives from Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Press Action Fund, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and other groups will also be speaking.
WHEN: Thurs., Dec. 14, from 9–11 a.m.
WHERE: FCC Headquarters, 445 12th St. SW, Washington, D.C.
CONTACT: To coordinate interviews, contact Melanie Moon at email@example.com or Timothy Karr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Net Neutrality Wake-Up Call Rally, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/net-neutrality-wake-up-call-tickets-40110244822.
Voices for Internet Freedom is a coalition of organizations fighting to protect the digital rights of communities of color.