Above Photo: From Tumblr.fightforthefuture.org
Net neutrality supporters plan Internet-wide push on February 27 to secure final vote needed for Senate resolution to overturn FCC repeal
The organizations behind BattleForTheNet.com and many of the largest online protests in history have announced an Internet-wide day of action on February 27 dubbed Operation: #OneMoreVote. Internet users, small businesses, online communities, public interest groups and popular websites will harness their reach to flood lawmakers with calls, emails and tweets, and constituent meetings in search of the final vote needed to pass a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would block the FCC’s unpopular repeal of net neutrality protections.
See the announcement here:https://www.battleforthenet.com/onemorevote
Protest planning, led by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press Action Fund, has just begun, but already well known companies like Etsy, Medium, Vimeo, Imgur, Namecheap and Sonos have announced their participation, along with groups like Consumer Reports, the ACLU, Common Cause, Engine, and Daily Kos. Many other participants will be announced in the coming days.
50 Senators have already come out in support of the CRA, which would overturn the FCC’s December 14 decision and restore net neutrality protections that prevent Internet providers from controlling the web with throttling, censorship, and new fees. The February 27 push is laser focused on securing the final vote needed to pass the resolution in the Senate. Advocates will also take the fight to the House of Representatives, where net neutrality supporters plan to wage an all-out war to reach the 218 supporters (a simple majority) needed to force the CRA to the floor.
“The Internet is on a mission to save net neutrality, and every member of the Senate needs to decide if they are with us or against us,” said Evan Greer, Campaign Director of Fight for the Future (pronouns: she/hers), “The FCC’s decision to let ISPs throttle websites and shake us down with new scams and extra fees was the most unpopular move in the agency’s history. The CRA gives our elected officials a clear way to reverse that decision, making it a simple up or down vote on the future of the open Internet. On February 27, we’ll make sure they know their constituents expect them to do their jobs and vote on the right side of history.”
“The FCC vote to gut net neutrality protections was a historically bad decision — one that will negatively impact millions of Americans who rely on the internet for work, news, entertainment, and so much more. The massive unpopularity of the FCC’s move is reflected in an intense and continuing public backlash, including polling showing a vast majority of Americans from both parties oppose the repeal. One is hard pressed to think of a more unpopular policy coming out of Washington in recent years,” said Demand Progress Director of Communications Mark Stanley. “No one in America except for the detested Big Telecom lobby is clamoring to see net neutrality rules repealed. For lawmakers, backing the CRA resolution to restore net neutrality presents the rare opportunity to be celebrated by voters from both parties, with no political downside apart from bucking Comcast and Verizon.”
“The FCC was wrong to repeal Net Neutrality protections. Everybody knows that, which is why we’ve seen incredible momentum behind the national movement to restore internet rights to internet users,” said Free Press Action Fund Campaign Director Candace Clement. “Millions of people have spoken out because they recognize how important the open internet is for racial justice, free expression, innovation and economic opportunity. Lawmakers are already following the public’s lead, signing up by the hundreds to overturn the FCC’s unpopular and unwise action. On February 27 more people will have their say, giving every member of Congress the chance to stand with their constituents and reject this awful decision.”
Before the CRA can officially start moving, the FCC must now enter the rules into the Federal Register, which will start a countdown of 60 legislative days for the Senate to act. If the CRA passes both houses, it will go to the President’s desk. The White House, which has criticized mergers and other actions by large telecom companies, has been noticeably quiet about the FCC repeal, which was unpopular with voters from across the political spectrum including 3 out of 4 Republicans. While a veto is possible, the reality is that no one can predict what Trump will do.
Over the last year net neutrality has emerged as a mainstream political issue, with millions of people contacting their lawmakers, broad participation from small businesses, major web companies, and even brands like Burger King, and hundreds of volunteer-led grassroots protests, in-district meetings, and petition deliveries to Congressional offices. Previous days of action on July 12 and December 12 drove unprecedented numbers of phone calls, emails, and comments to lawmakers and the FCC.