ADVISORY: Internet activists to protest outside Senator Ron Wyden’s fundraising dinner tonight with giant glowing signs

Posted March 24, 2015 at 1:58 PM


March 24, 2015

Media contacts:
Evan Greer, 978-852-6457
Kevin Zeese, 301-996-6582

WASHINGTON, DC––Senator Ron Wyden may have a difficult time convincing donors that he is in touch with his tech-savvy base at a DC fundraising dinner tonight, where activists are planning to protest outside the restaurant with a giant glowing message for the Senator and his funders: “Save the Net. No TPP.” Senator Wyden is currently engaged in negotiations with key Republicans over so-called “Fast Track” legislation, or Trade Promotion Authority, leading activists to question his commitment to protecting the free and open Internet.

WHAT: Protest outside Senator Ron Wyden’s fundraising dinner. Protesters will be outside the restaurant, but clearly visible to the Senator and his donors. Visuals include large light up signs, protesters chanting and picketing.

WHERE: Outside Bistro Bis, 16 E St NW, Washington, DC

WHEN: Today, Tuesday, March 24.  Activists will gather at 5:00pm

WHY: Activists are calling for Senator Wyden to oppose Fast Track legislation, which could ram through the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a secretive trade pact that contains extreme copyright provisions that could lead to global Internet censorship

WHO: The protest is organized by Fight for the Future and Popular Resistance, two groups that played an instrumental role in the recent victory for net neutrality.

Senator Wyden has traditionally been a champion of Internet freedom issues, including net neutrality, but Internet advocates are deeply concerned about the Senator’s support for Fast Track / Trade Promotion Authority legislation that could push trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) through Congress without meaningful debate or public input. The TPP contains extreme copyright provisions, pushed for by the same special interests that pushed resoundingly rejected SOPA legislation, that could lead to global Internet censorship, less privacy, and harsher penalties for whistleblowers.

Earlier this month, Fight for the Future followed Senator Wyden around his home state of Oregon with a 30-foot blimp reading: “Ron Wyden: It’s up to you! Don’t betray us. Save the Internet.” A video of the protest that the group posted on Facebook has already received more than 76,000 views. The group has also run an online campaign resulting in more than 35,000 tweets at the Senator in recent weeks calling upon him to stick to his values of transparency and oppose Fast Track.