Internet activists, startups, and celebrities have been hosting a marathon livestream driving calls and tweets to legislators
In a historic vote spurred by massive grassroots activism, the US House of Representatives just passed HR 1644, the Save the Internet Act to restore net neutrality. Digital rights group Fight for the Future has been hosting a marathon livestream, featuring cameos from from public interest groups like EFF and Public Knowledge, startups like GitHub, Postmates and Gandi.net, and even celebrities like Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. The vote was 232-190.
Despite relentless and disingenuous telecom misinformation campaigns attempting to turn net neutrality into a partisan issue, one Republican champion supported the bill on final passage. Rep Bill Posey (R-FL) sided with the vast majority of Republican voters and supported the restoration of net neutrality. Every single Democrat supported the bill, even in the face of massive pressure from telecom lobbyists to vote against it or support weakening amendments.
Between the two committee markups and the floor debate yesterday, more than 5 million people have tuned in to the Twitch stream, where viewers are encouraged to contact their representatives using BattleForTheNet.com
The massive burst of attention once again underscores the overwhelming public support for restoring net neutrality protections, and it should give pause to Republican lawmakers who have largely ignored their base on this issue in favor of spewing telecom talking points. Many commenters in the Twitch chat have self-identified as Republicans in support of net neutrality, expressing disappointment in GOP representatives for their disingenuous opposition to the bill.
"We are charging ahead and getting closer to restoring net neutrality every day," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, "President Trump and Mitch McConnell can say whatever they want, but the writing is on the wall: there is overwhelming public consensus in support of real net neutrality and it’s only a matter of time before we win. The politicians standing in the way of Internet freedom are embarrassing themselves -– they’ll go down in history as incompetent, corrupt, and out of touch. Republican, conservative, and libertarian voters don’t want their cable company to control what websites or apps they can visit or where they can get their news. Misinformation and astroturf campaigns can only do so much –– if I were a GOP staffer I’d be telling my boss to get off this sinking ship before it’s too late."