Posted 08:18 EST on November 7, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2014
Evan Greer, 978-852-6457
Net neutrality protests sweep the U.S. after FCC leaks “hybrid” proposal that fails to protect free speech
Hundreds of Internet users - holding their lit up cell phones and laptops aloft in protest - joined more than 30 demonstrations across the U.S. on Thursday night. They took to the streets in an outpouring of anger over reports that the Federal Communications Committee is planning to push a “hybrid” net neutrality proposal that opens the door for cable company censorship and abuse.
More than 100 people gathered in front of the White House in Washington, DC with light-up signs reading “SAVE THE INTERNET,” chanting “Hey hey! Ho ho! Tom Wheeler has got to go.” Crowds turned out in dozens of other cities as well including Boston, MA; San Francisco, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Anchorage, AK; Chicago, IL; and New York, NY.
See photos from the protests here: http://imgur.com/a/WD42O
See a short video from the White House protest here: http://youtu.be/gpaU7OnJDxE
“Internet users are outraged that President Obama and his FCC appointee are choosing to ignore the voices of millions of people who have called for strong net neutrality rules that protect free speech and are instead pushing a sham proposal that fails to protect our rights,” said Evan Greer, Campaign Director of Fight for the Future, “These protests are just the beginning. I’ve never seen people turn out like this on such short notice. The President and the FCC should take warning: hell hath no fury like the Internet scorned.”
The #InternetEmergency rapid-response protests were organized with just a few days notice by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Free Press, and PopularResistance.org, advocacy groups that played a pivotal role in the massive Internet Slowdown online protest last month that mobilized more than 40,000 websites and sent more than 700,000 comments to the FCC and 300,000 phone calls to Congress in support of Title II reclassification.
The protests were inspired in part by massive demonstrations that swept Hungary after the government their proposed an Internet Tax, where protesters held up their cell phones as a sign of protest. For the #InternetEmergency protests, Fight for the Future took the tactic a step further by creating ProtestSign.org, a website that allows anyone to turn their phone, laptop, or tablet into a net neutrality protest sign.
Posted 15:11 EST on November 6, 2014
Dozens of Fight for the Future members, people just like you, are hosting #InternetEmergency protests tonight across the U.S. Here’s a quick guide for how to do it right!
Thanks so much for being a host! Here’s some quick and simple tips & instructions for tonight’s protest!
First, the easy stuff:
- be ready to say something to welcome folks.
- the east coast is rainy right now. bring umbrellas :)
- the hashtag for the event is #InternetEmergency
- make sure you are prepared to take photos and send them to us (reply all to this message with photos or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
- read the crowd and decide how long you want to stay. 1 hour would be great!
- if there’s something obvious to do after, invite people. make it social.
On photos (because it’s really, really important):
1) Make sure you have a smartphone with a good camera ready for taking pictures. Since it’s important for us to get photos out to media in a rapid way, the phone is the most important thing. It’s also wonderful to have high quality photos taken on a point-and-shoot or an SLR. If you don’t have a smartphone (which is heroic, btw) invite a friend who has one!
2) Get as many people as possible to load protestsign.org on their phones, tablets, and laptops. Post this URL to the Facebook group too, so people with laptops can load it beforehand! You can swipe up/down for different colors, and left/right for different text.
3) Take a few group photos of everyone. Think about the best way to show the group, while including something iconic in the background (a logo, a sign, a landmark capitol building, etc). Don’t be far away. Fill the frame with people and faces, trying to capture the spirit and diversity of your group. Try to capture the “Save the Internet” or “#EmergencyProtest” text on phones or laptops in the photo. Then email your group photos to email@example.com so we can pick the best ones and circulate to press.
4) Once you get a group photo, get people to do individual pictures holding their phone with protestsign.org loaded. They can hold the phone at the camera, or hold it above their head, whatever works well for you. You can post photos to #InternetEmergency but also ask people to email their photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The main thing: make sure you and individuals post and email the photos to us right after they take them, so we can quickly circulate to press.
Beyond that, I’ve included some talking points below, and some articles that are helpful for talking about where the FCC is at.
I’ll be hosting a protest in my hometown of Worcester, MA tonight as well. So I’ll be following these instructions myself! Can’t wait to see all of this come together :)
–Holmes Wilson & the whole Fight for the Future team.
* We’re just outraged by last week’s WSJ leak. Nearly 4 million Americans and thousands of tech companies have come forward against paid prioritization and what does Tom Wheeler come up with? Paid Prioritization.
* In the history of the FCC there hasn’t been a single issue that got this much public outcry– and the FCC does the exact opposite of what the public’s asking for.
*But now the tides are turning, and we’re winning huge victories in Congress and the White House on net neutrality - it’s time for the FCC to make the right decision and enact real net neutrality.
*Tom Wheeler, the FCC chairman, is now stalling against enacting strong open Internet rules. No more delays, no more compromises, we need real net neutrality now!
These articles have more detail, as does battleforthenet.com:
Posted 13:25 EST on November 5, 2014
November 6, 2014
Evan Greer, Fight for the Future, 978-852-6457
Kevin Huang, Fight for the Future, 510-648-5048
Margaret Flowers, PopularResistance.org - 410-591-0892
Net neutrality activists organize protests at White House and nationwide, opposing FCC’s leaked “hybrid” proposal, demanding real net neutrality
Civil liberties, tech policy, and free speech groups have called for nationwide emergency protests to oppose proposal reported in WSJ that would open the door for Cable company censorship and abuse
On Thursday, November 6th, net neutrality activists will protest in front of the White House in Washington, DC and in at least a dozen other cities across the country to demand that the FCC and the White House drop their proposal for “hybrid” net neutrality rules that fail to protect Internet users from censorship and discrimination.
Inspired by successful mass protests against an unpopular Internet Tax in Hungary, demonstrators will hold their cell phones, laptops, and tablets above their heads as a symbol of protest, and shine light on the corruption unfolding in Washington, DC.
See an updated map and list of protests planned here: https://battleforthenet.com
WHAT: Nationwide Emergency Protests for net neutrality
WHEN: November 6, 2014, 6PM EST, CST, MT and PST, depending on locality.
WHERE: The White House, Lafayette Park, Washington, DC;
And more than 30 other cities including:
MA State House, Boston, MA;
Comcast HQ, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
Minnesota State Capitol, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota;
Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco, CA;
Federal Building, Cincinnati, OH;
Federal Plaza, Chicago, IL
City Hall, Houston, TX
Federal Court House, Las Vegas, NV
Capitol Building, Austin, TX
At&T Building, Worcester, MA
Park Square, Asheville, NC
WHY: To demand that the FCC drop its leaked proposal for corrupt, discriminatory “fastlanes” and listen to the 4 million Americans and thousands of businesses who’ve called for real net neutrality through Title II reclassification.
VISUALS: Group of open Internet advocates holding cellphones, laptops, flashlights, candles; White House and other government buildings in other cities. In DC there will be a light up sign reading “SAVE THE INTERNET.”
WHO: The protests are supported by Fight for the Future, PopularResistance.org, Free Press, Demand Progress, reddit, and several other grassroots organizations in collaboration with millions of online supporters.
BACKGROUND: Nearly 4 million Americans (alongside companies like Reddit, Tumblr, Netflix, and Google) have spoken out against discriminatory fastlanes and for real net neutrality. September’s #InternetSlowdown protest rallied over 40,000 websites and drove 312,000 calls to Congress and more than 700,000 comments to the FCC. But last week, news leaked in the Wall Street Journal that the FCC was planning to do the exact opposite: enshrine paid fastlanes in law, giving cable companies power over the open Internet. The current FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is a former cable & telecom industry lobbyist. Obama, who appointed Wheeler, has promised net neutrality from the campaign trail in 2008 to as recently as weeks ago. But the Obama administration has yet to reign in Wheeler’s plan to hand his former employers legal power over America’s Internet. Internet users are well organized after several mass online actions, and are preparing escalating responses leading up to the FCC’s final decision in the coming weeks.
Fight for the Future works to excite the Internet to fight for the public good, our basic rights and freedoms. Founded in 2011, we’re known for effective, viral organizing and mass engagement through the distributed organizing platforms we’ve built, including the SOPA protests in the winter of 2011-2012 and the Internet Defense League. For more information, visit www.fightforthefuture.org or our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Posted 12:51 EST on November 5, 2014
The Guardian breaks the news. Please share this article widely:
Posted 20:50 EST on November 4, 2014
Dear Fight for the Future member,
Click here to join an emergency protest for net neutrality on November 6th!
Did you hear about the massive protests in Hungary? The government there proposed an Internet Tax, that would have charged ordinary internet users exorbitant prices *per gigabite.*
Thousands of people took to the streets in protest, holding their shining cell phones aloft as a symbol of resistance to the unfair Internet Tax. In response, the government announced they would lower the tax.
Instead of accepting the compromise, even more people took to the streets demanding unfettered, affordable access to the free and open web. And they won. The government backed down and took the controversial tax off the table.
It’s election day here in the U.S. and we face a similar crisis. Regardless of which party comes out on top today, the FCC is set to annihilate net neutrality and open the floodgates for rampant Internet censorship and abuse. This is the moment we’ve been building for. In the last year, Fight for the Future has grown to more than 1 million members! We are stronger than we’ve ever been and we have the power to save net neutrality, but signing petitions and making phone calls isn’t going to be enough.
This Thursday, November 6th we’re organizing emergency protests across the country, but we need more people to step up and help “anchor” protests in their towns. Anchoring a protest is easy: it just means you pick a time and location, and agree to be there and get as many of your friends as possible to come. The protests themselves are simple: we are asking people to gather in the evening at government buildings and hold their glowing cell phones, laptops, and tablets aloft to shine light on the growing corruption in DC and demand real net neutrality.
We, and several other groups with large email lists, will send an email to our thousands of members in your area encouraging them to attend your event.
Click here to join an emergency protest or start one in your town.
You can also reply to this email if you are able to help anchor a protest and we’ll get in touch with you right away.
The protests on Thursday will be the kickoff for a month of escalating actions leading up to the FCC’s final decision, which we expect to come in early December. We’ll be holding these vigils every Thursday leading up until that point, so if you can help organize one any time in the coming weeks, let us know! Just reply to this email, we’ll see it.
We’ve updated https://Battleforthenet.com to support these emergency protests.
Please share the link far and wide and tell as many people as possible that the fight for net neutrality is coming to a head and we need to start something big right now.
For the Internet,
-Evan at Fight for the Future