Internet activists, major web companies, online forums, and small businesses are preparing to “go red” as part of a Red Alert for Net Neutrality campaign to drive constituent calls and emails to lawmakers ahead of an imminent Senate vote to overrule the FCC’s overwhelmingly unpopular repeal of net neutrality. The online push will begin on May 9th when the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution will be officially discharged, and will carry through until the vote.
The protest was just announced, but already Etsy, Tumblr, Postmates, Foursquare, Twilio, Private Internet Access, and Gandi.net have said they plan to participate. Thousands of other large and small websites are expected to join. Behind the push are Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and Free Press Action Fund, the groups that run BattleForTheNet.com and have been responsible for the largest online protests in history. They’ve helped drive millions of phone calls, emails, and tweets to lawmakers in recent years.
The CRA lets just 30 senators force a vote to overturn a recently-issued federal agency rule. On May 9th, senators will present a petition to force a vote on a resolution that would undo the FCC’s net neutrality rollback. If the resolution passes into law, it will restore the strong net neutrality protections that were put in place in 2015. All 49 members of the Democratic Caucus, as well as Republican Susan Collins, have announced their support for the effort – meaning that, at most, just one more vote is needed to ensure passage in the Senate, at which point Internet activists plan to take the fight to the House.
“This senate vote will be the most important moment for net neutrality since the FCC repeal. Now is the time to fight,” said Evan Greer, Deputy Director of Fight for the Future, “Every Internet user, every startup, every small business –– the Internet must come together to sound the alarm and save net neutrality.”
“We will finally force lawmakers to let us know if they stand with the 85% of Americans who support net neutrality – or with the cable companies that want to manipulate the internet in service of greater profits,” said David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress. “The people are on our side – and if they make their voices heard over coming weeks, we will push this resolution through the Senate and House.”
“Congress has the chance to rewind a terrible Trump administration policy decision, and one of its least popular, too,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press Action Fund. “Net Neutrality is overwhelmingly supported by people across the political spectrum: Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike. The FCC’s disastrous vote late last year led to a historic outcry Congress must not ignore. There’s only one way to stand up for real Net Neutrality — and to stand on the right side of history — and that’s by voting for the resolution of disapproval to restore these essential safeguards. The public will be closely watching who’s looking out for them and who’s only serving phone and cable lobbyists.”