PHILADELPHIA – Net Neutrality advocates Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press flew an airplane towing a 2,000 square foot banner over Comcast’s towering corporate headquarters in Philadelphia in celebration of yesterday’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote protecting Net Neutrality. The banner depicted the popular Internet meme Grumpy Cat, and read "Comcast: Don’t Mess With the Internet."
These photos and video clips are available for use by press and may be credited as courtesy of Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press.
Here’s a close-up of what the banner looks like:
The stunt came after a year of escalating grassroots activism that turned the tide on Net Neutrality and led directly to yesterday’s FCC vote to approve the strongest Net Neutrality rules possible. Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press worked together to organize BattleForTheNet.com, which became by far the most popular Net Neutrality activism site, and also collaborated on the September 10th Internet Slowdown protest, which attracted more than 40,000 websites as participants and drove more than 770,000 comments to the FCC in a single day.
Their most recent effort was the Internet Countdown, which was the largest sustained (lasting more than a single day) online protest effort in history, counting down to yesterday’s vote. More than 19,000 websites supported the countdown including Tumblr, reddit, Yelp, Mozilla, Kickstarter, and MediaFire.
"This is a victory of the Internet, by the Internet, and for the Internet," said David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress. "Comcast and cable allies spent big for the right to degrade the very service they provide to their customers, and they tried to ignore the millions of public comments in support of Net Neutrality. But they can’t ignore the FCC’s vote yesterday – or a plane flying over their corporate headquarters today. This banner is a message from the millions who stood up to one of the most powerful special interests in Washington: You can’t ignore the Internet. We won at the FCC and we’re ready to fight the ISPs and defend net neutrality in the streets and in the air, in Congress and in the courts. And we will win."
"For too long Comcast’s towering corporate headquarters has cast a dark shadow over Philadelphians wanting affordable access to a fast and open Internet. It’s encouraging now to see people across the city call out the cable giant for failing to live up to its promises to protect Net Neutrality and connect more people to essential communications services," said Mary Alice Crim, Field Director at Free Press. "Millions of people are now taking a powerful stand for their rights to connect and communicate. It’s a movement that has shifted the debate in Washington, and Comcast should take note.”
“Comcast should have known that Internet users would not tolerate their blatant attacks on free speech and democracy. Let this be a warning to every goliath company, government, and institution of power in the world. If you mess with the Internet, the Internet will mess with you. And the Internet always wins,” said Fight for the Future Campaign Director Evan Greer.