Grassroots Securing Net Neutrality: More Than One Million Calls, Emails to Congress & FCC in 2015
The numbers send a clear message in support of an open internet to Congress and FCC in advance of Feb. 26 vote
WASHINGTON, DC – People across the country are taking a strong stand for net neutrality, and
have generated more than one million actions in just the first seven
weeks of 2015. In large numbers, they are emailing, calling, and signing
petitions to their lawmakers and the FCC. These grassroots actions are
in addition to the four million comments submitted
to the FCC in 2014. The massive show of support stands in stark
contrast to the lobbying and advertising campaigns financed by cable
giants like Comcast and trade associations like NCTA.
diverse coalition of net neutrality supporters— including Color of
Change, CREDO, Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free
MoveOn.org, and Mozilla—announced the new numbers today and released the following statement:
than one million people have stood up for net neutrality in the last
seven weeks, which shows how deeply engaged the public is with this
issue. The public overwhelmingly
rejects internet fast lanes for the rich and slow lanes for the rest of
should follow the will of the people and stop trying to interfere with
the FCC. Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and NCTA should stop pouring money
into Congress, false
ads and lobbyists in their last ditch attempt to undermine the public
A breakdown of the numbers released on today’s call is below:
TOTAL January 1 – February 18, 2015: 1,023,296
Emails & Petitions to Congress: 716,950
Calls to Congress: 120,710
Emails & Petitions to FCC: 75,834
Emails & Petitions to Others (NCTA, CTIA): 109,802
WASHINGTON, DC––With just 8 days left until the FCC’s much anticipated net neutrality decision, the Internet is rallying in force to ensure strong protections for free speech Internet freedom. This morning popular online review service Yelp announced their support for Title II reclassification in a blogpost, encouraging readers to take action on BattleFortheNet.com during the Internet Countdown.
Meanwhile, organizers announced today that more than 16,000 websites have joined the latest effort by displaying an animated “countdown timer” on their sites, helping drive a daily barrage of thousands of emails and phone calls to Congress. The “countdown” widget has already had more than 14.8 million impressions across the web.
The Internet Countdown was launched on January 26th, one month before the FCC’s vote. In addition to its latest ally, Yelp, the effort has attracted the support of major web companies and popular startups including Tumblr, Mozilla, MediaFire, Bluehost, BoingBoing, Daily Kos, AdaFruit, Cheezburger, CREDO mobile, and Thunderclap. In addition, the organizers have built online tools making it easy for individual Internet users to participate.
More than 11,000 people have signed up to join the#InternetCountdown “twitter army,” authorizing net neutrality activists to tweet on their behalf regularly between now and the FCC vote. More than 8,500 of those people have signed up to tweet every single day until the vote. The total social reach of the twitter army (meaning the combined followers of all the participants) is more than 8.2 million people.
Fight for the Future’s campaign director, Evan Greer, said, “"As the Web literally counts down the seconds to the FCC’s historic vote, thousands of websites and hundreds of thousands of Internet users are rising up once again. Politicians in Washington, DC need to learn the lesson once and for all: if you want to keep your job, don’t mess with the Internet.”
The Internet Countdown effort was conceived by Fight for the Future, and has been organized in coordination with Demand Progress, Free Press, and the broad coalition behindBattleForTheNet.com
WASHINGTON, DC––Net neutrality activists who support strong free speech protections through Title II reclassification crashed a press conference organized by Republican FCC Commissioner––and former Verizon lawyer––Ajit Pai this morning when they attempted to unfurl a large banner reading “85% of Republican Voters Support Net Neutrality,” a reference to a University of Delaware poll from November, reported in the Washington Post.
Scroll to the bottom of this press release to see more PHOTOS and video.
FCC security violently attacked the demonstrators, knocking them to the ground. As they were dragged from the room, internet activists Dr. Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese of the group PopularResistance.org said, “Commissioner Pai, don’t you see Republicans love net neutrality? Stop being a mouthpiece for the Telecoms–your job is to represent the public interest. Title II now! The Internet should be a level playing field for all not one rigged for Comcast and Verizon. No crony capitalism for Comcast and Verizon. Equal access for all.”
After the activists left the building, FCC security continued to harass them, threatening them with arrest for standing on a public sidewalk offering an interview to a camera crew.
The action was organized by grassroots activists from the group PopularResistance.org with support from the digital rights group Fight for the Future. These two groups previously coordinated on the Occupy the FCC encampment last year that helped put Title II reclassification on the table at the FCC. Fight for the Future were also lead organizers of the September 10th Internet Slowdown protest along with Demand Progress, and the coalition website they helped build, BattleForTheNet.com was responsible for more than ¼ of all the comments the FCC received about net neutrality last year. PopularResistance.org has also organized a series of protests and direct actions on this issue, including a civil disobedience action where they blockaded FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s driveway.
Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, said, “Net neutrality is not a partisan issue, but corrupt politicians in Washington DC whose campaigns are funded by the Telecom industry are desperate to make it one.” She added, “Given that Republican voters overwhelmingly oppose Internet fast lanes and support the principles of net neutrality, it’s clear that officials like Ajit Pai, who is a former high ranking lawyer for Verizon, are ignoring the public will and working for the industries they’re supposed to be holding accountable.”
While the action unfolded in Washington, DC today, the battle for the net continued to rage online. Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Free Press and other groups are organizing a sustained effort called theInternet Countdown, keeping up a constant barrage of online protest between now and the FCC’s vote on February 26th. More than 2,500 sites have joined the effort so far including Bluehost, BoingBoing, Thunderclap, and Daily Kos. Major sites like Tumblr and Mozilla are participating with custom landing pages encouraging their users to take action in support of real net neutrality protections through Title II reclassification. More than 6,400 people have signed up to join the countdown by automatically tweetingevery day between now and the February 26th vote.
Tumblr, Mozilla, BoingBoing, The Nation, AdaFruit, Daily Kos, CREDO, and more than 2,000 other websites participating in online protests this month. More than 5,000 people have signed up to tweet every day until the FCC’s vote, with a total social reach of more than 5 million people.
THE INTERNET––Several of the world’s most popular web companies have re-affirmed their support for online free speech this week by encouraging their users to take action in coordination with the Internet Countdown protest, an effort between websites, Internet users, and grassroots groups to keep up a sustained barrage of phone calls and emails targeting lawmakers in Washington, DC between now and the FCC’s net neutrality vote on February 26th. To amplify the effort, more than 5,000 people used the Internet Countdown twitter tool to signed up to tweet every single day leading up to the decision, with a total social reach of more than 5 million each day.
The Countdown was launched on January 26th, exactly one month before the FCC’s vote, and has already attracted a number of prominent supporters, and more than 2,000 websites overall. Many websites are creating their own actions geared toward their user base, while dozens of others are using the Internet Countdown’s ready-made “widgets,” which allow any website owner, blogger, or Tumblr user to easily include a “countdown timer” on their site, literally counting down the seconds to the FCC’s vote. Clicking on the widget takes users to BattleForTheNet.com, the net neutrality hub site that was responsible for more than ¼ of the overall comments that the FCC received during its comment periods.
This week, blogging platform Tumblr with its more than 220 million blogs unveiled a creative action at https://tumblr.com/everybodyontheinternet driving phone calls and emails to Congress in support of Title II net neutrality. On Wednesday, Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, began showing U.S. users of their popular web browser a message encouraging them to take action, and published this blog post. Popular news site BoingBoing is showing users the countdown at the bottom of most articles sitewide. The Nation magazine also joined this week, along with popular DIY electronics site AdaFruit. Social media app Thunderclap is displaying the countdown widget prominently on their frontpage.
“Internet users around the world are celebrating the hard fought victory of getting the FCC chair to come out in support of real net neutrality through Title II reclassification, but they also know that the battle for the net is not over yet,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. She added, “We know that when the Internet comes together for the public interest, nothing is impossible. We will not accept defeat––the Internet will keep fighting until the FCC enacts strong, bright line rules that ban Cable companies from all forms of discrimination, blocking, or throttling of web content.
“These next few weeks are crucial,” said David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress. “Based on what we know now about Chairman Wheeler’s proposal to reclassify broadband Internet under Title II, we have never been closer
to real net neutrality. But we can’t let up. We need to beat back any
changes or loopholes in the rules that might weaken them, and we need to
ensure that Congress does not interfere by advancing proposals that
would undermine real net neutrality. That’s
why we’re urging the platforms that benefit from a free and open
Internet to join us in the Internet Countdown over the next three weeks
and finish what could be one of the most historic wins for the open Web
that we’ve ever seen.”
The Internet Countdown is being organized by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press, with the support of a broad #TeamInternet coalition.
We’ve got chills as we write to you about this: we are on the brink of scoring the biggest victory in modern memory for the public and the Internet against some of the fiercest lobbies in the
FCC Chairman just proposed rules for net neutrality, which will get
voted on February 26th – they plan on reclassifying Comcast, Verizon,
AT&T, all telecom as a… Title II. Common. Carrier… meaning we keep the Internet equal for all.
Dollar for dollar, this is the biggest win against entrenched corruption and million dollar lobbyists in recent memory. No matter what happens next, this is a watershed moment for free speech.
We can celebrate soon, but first we have to finish the fight. Will you chip in? But,
it’s also true we still have three weeks to go before these rules get
voted on. Almost anything can happen in that time, and the details of
the rules matter so much. We know our opponents in the Cable industry
will use their exclusive access to the FCC and Congress to add loopholes
and attack the process. This
is our last moment to blow this fight out of the water and make it
crystal clear that we will not let ANY loophole or monopoly behavior gut
this historic win we’ve fought so hard for.
you make an emergency donation to help ramp up a bring-it-home,
all-hands-on-deck campaign to protect free speech for decades?
no doubt this is the moment we’ve all been fighting for. The FCC vote
for net neutrality – the most important vote of the FCC’s entire
history – was a year in the making (and a decade of groundwork) and the
result of coming together around smart, strategic mobilization at the
FCC, the halls of Congress, across the political spectrum and around the
the Cable lobby knows exactly what they’re going to do about it and
they are unrolling their plans as we speak. We don’t know all the
details, but we
know they are putting everything they’ve got into the next three weeks
to mobilize the TV networks they own, the million dollar political lists
they’ve bought, and the politicians they gave campaign contributions to
(especially the ones who are already pushing a bill that could derail
will all come down to February 26th, when the FCC votes on their rules.
We know we can beat them, but on that day we’ll either have done
everything we needed to do to win real net neutrality or we’ll lose it
for a long time.
we’re going to generate a massive avalanche of public opposition to
Cable’s plans by creatively distributing a ticking vote-countdown clock
all across the web on thousands of websites and social media accounts.
We’ll generate such a determined outpouring of support for real net
neutrality rules that we’ll resoundingly save the open Internet and make
it so politically toxic for any member of Congress and any FCC
commissioner to be on the wrong side of history.
moved mountains to get here. A year ago when net neutrality rules were
struck down in court, Title II was off the table. We bravely came out
for it when it was scary and built campaigns so the support would
spread. No one expected us to set up camp outside the FCC offices for 10
days. And, when we created the Internet Slowdown protest and made the
spinning wheel of death the iconic emblem of Cable’s plans, and with our
partners, helped drive a historic 4 million comments, we created the
turning point for net neutrality that changed everything.
millions of dollars and a host of lobbyists are a stone’s throw away
from every Congressional office and FCC staffer, we defied all odds and
are winning, not on their terms of corruption and DC lobbying, but on
our own – the public banding together. Our fingerprints are all over
these rules. We know exactly how to finish the job.
Are we ready to make the FCC vote on net neutrality the biggest moment for you, me, and everyone else? Oh yes.
those sleepless nights. All that wrist pain. The rain and the cold
streets. All of that has been worth it. And it’s going to be worth going
through it all again over the next three weeks.
been an overwhelming years worth of work. But we’re not going to let up
now. We’ve come so far. Not long ago most people didn’t have a clue
what net neutrality even was. Now, we’re mobilized and ready. Can you
make a donation to help finish the job and save the free and open