Fighting for an Open Internet
I spent two years fighting for net neutrality as a full-time job. My activist friends wondered why I had taken on a techy cause — wasn’t I a civil rights activist? At 33, I had discovered that my entire life would not have been possible without net neutrality, the principle that protects the open Internet. I couldn’t make films, speak, report, or organize without it — and that’s true for all of us from communities without access to power. I began to see net neutrality as the key civil rights issue of our time. I joined net neutrality expert Barbara van Schewick at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society and she ushered me inside an astounding movement. I had never witnessed such a broad coalition — artists, activists, economists, scholars, start-ups, lawmakers, basically everyone except Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T. We amplified the voices of faith leaders in the fight by launching Faithful Internet. Millions called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ban carriers from blocking and slowing down websites at will, or charging sites extra fees to reach people faster — and we won. The Open Internet Order became law in Feb 2015. I wrote our victory announcement while nursing our three month old son. I remember feeling like I could breathe a little easier, because no matter what happened, at least his generation would have the tools to continue to fight for justice and revolutionary love…
Fast forward. This December 14th, the President-appointed FCC chairman will hold a repeal vote in order to end the protections we won. It’s infuriating. And dangerous. In a time when we most need it, ending net neutrality would drain the lifeblood from our movements. Congress can slow down the FCC vote or even force it to abandon the vote altogether — but ONLY IF they hear from enough of us. Half a million people have already called Congress. If you’re like me and had never seen net neutrality as your issue before, now is the time. Here’s how.
If you can do only one thing:
CALL CONGRESS NOW. Click here for simple instructions: https://www.battleforthenet.com/?call=1. Leave a comment here so that I can thank you.
And if you can do a little more —
– Thursday, Dec 7th: Thousands of people will protest at Verizon stores in 700+ cities across the country. Find one near you: http://www.verizonprotests.com/
– Tuesday, Dec 12th: We’re going to “Break the Internet” in a day of online action. Sign up here to ‘break’ your app, site, or social media profile: https://www.battleforthenet.com/breaktheinternet/
– Thursday, Dec 14th: Join my Faithful Internet co-founder Cheryl Leanzaat the big Net Neutrality Wake Up Call Rally in Washington, DC: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/net-neutrality-wake-up-call-ti…
Here is our piece on why faith and justice leaders see net neutrality as a moral imperative, including William J. Barber, II, Simone Campbell, Otis Moss III, Linda Sarsour, and Brian D. McLaren: https://sojo.net/…/5-reasons-future-faith-depends-open-inte…. More of our resources here: http://faithfulinternet.org/resources