Actions You Can Take To Protect Net Neutrality This Week

Net Neutrality protest at Pai home May 14, 2017

By Staff. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is threatening to undermine the free and open internet as we know it. In May, the FCC voted to begin a rulemaking that would undo the Open Internet Order, which ensures that Internet Service Providers (ISP) treat all online traffic equally. To raise awareness, involve more constituencies and continue to promote net neutrality, we plan to focus each week on one theme or aspect of net neutrality and amplify that message online. Strong net neutrality protections are in place to prevent broadband providers from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing internet content. Net neutrality rules protect the free flow of ideas that are creating new industries, educating our youth, promoting free speech, and supporting the communications that we rely on every day. President Donald Trump and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s want to hand control of the internet to a few big broadband companies that will serve as broadband gatekeepers. Without the Open Internet Order, ISPs could discriminate against certain websites, distort competition, stifle innovation, and undermine user choice and free expression.

Newsletter: Internet Freedom Is Fundamental, We Might Lose It

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Donald Trump appointed Ajit Pai, a commissioner who opposed Title II and net neutrality, to be chair of the FCC. Pai is a former Verizon lawyer who is representing the interests of ISP’s like Verizon and Comcast rather than the public interest. It is going to take another mass mobilization, probably larger than the last one, in order to protect net neutrality. 20170505_173739We started a campaign, Protect Our Internet, see the website and Facebook page (like the page and share it). We have already taken initial actions with our coalition partners, including protesting Ajit Pai when he spoke at the American Enterprise Institute on Friday. This weekend we are going to Ajit Pai’s neighborhood in Arlington, VA to let his neighbors know that he is working to destroy the Internet by putting door hangers at their homes. Knock, Knock, It’s Net Neutrality! Next weekend, we will protest at his house. More is planned. Sign up on Protect Our Internet so you can be part of this campaign and click here to take action by sending Ajit Pai an email.

Prosecution Of Assange Is Persecution Of Free Speech

From sbs.com.au

By Nozomi Hayase for Counter Punch – US authorities are reported to have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. This overreach of US government toward a publisher, whose principle is aligned with the U.S. Constitution, is another sign of a crumbling façade of democracy. The Justice Department in the Obama administration could not prosecute WikiLeaks for publishing documents pertaining to the US government, because they struggled to determine whether the First Amendment protection applied in this case. Now, the torch of Obama’s war on whistleblowers seems to have been passed on to Trump, who had shown disdain toward free speech and even called the U.S. media as “enemies of the people”. Earlier this month, CIA Director Mike Pompeo vowed to end WikiLeaks, accusing the whistleblowing site as being a “non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia”. He also once called Edward Snowden a traitor and claimed that he should be executed. This declaration of war against WikiLeaks may bring a reminiscence of George W. Bush’s speech in the aftermath of 9-11, where he said, ‘either you are with us or against us’,…

Trump’s CIA Targets Wikileaks

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

By Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept – IN FEBRUARY, after Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. media were the “enemy of the people,” the targets of his insult exploded with indignation, devoting wall-to-wall media coverage to what they depicted as a grave assault on press freedoms more befitting of a tyranny. By stark and disturbing contrast, the media reaction yesterday was far more muted, even welcoming, when Trump’s CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, actually and explicitly vowed to target freedoms of speech and press in a blistering, threatening speech hedelivered to the D.C. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies. What made Pompeo’s overt threats of repression so palatable to many was that they were not directed at CNN, the New York Times or other beloved-in-D.C. outlets, but rather at WikiLeaks, more marginalized publishers of information, and various leakers and whistleblowers, including Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Trump’s CIA Director stood up in public and explicitly threatened to target free speech rights and press freedoms…

Billionaires Funding Plot To Destroy Dissent And Protest In Colleges Across U.S.

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By Alex Kotch for AlterNet – As far-right speakers face loud student opposition at their university speaking gigs, conservative lawmakers in several states are introducing legislation that cracks down on protesters. As uncovered by UnKoch My Campus’ Ralph Wilson, numerous states have borrowed their so-called “campus free speech” bills from the rightwing Goldwater Institute, which is funded by conservative plutocrats including Charles Koch and the Mercer family. The intent of these bills isn’t to protect student speech; it’s actually to suppress it in favor of guest speakers who, at times, support white nationalism, LGBTQ discrimination and other hateful worldviews.

Does What Happened To Journalist At US-Canada Border Herald Darker Trend?

Photojournalist Ed Ou (Photo by Kitra Cahana)

By Hugh Handeyside for ACLU – The recent abusive border search of a Canadian photojournalist should serve as a warning to everyone concerned about press freedom these days. Ed Ou is a renowned photographer and TED senior fellow who has traveled to the United States many times to do work for The New York Times, Time magazine, and other media outlets. Last month, Ed was traveling from Canada to the U.S. to report on the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota, when he was taken aside for additional inspection. What came next left him questioning what he thought he knew about the U.S. government and the values it stands for…

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Letter Supporting Colin Kaepernick

Front row: Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (formerly Lew Alcindor). Back row: Mayor Carl Stokes, Walter Beach, Bobby Mitchell, Sid Williams, Curtis McClinton, Willie Davis, Jim Shorter and John Wooten. This photo was taken in Cleveland, Ohio in 1967 and was a group of athletes that met to support Muhammad Ali's decision to not go fight in the Vietnam War after being drafted.

By Zach Cartwright for US Uncut. “What should horrify Americans is not Kaepernick’s choice to remain seated during the national anthem, but that nearly 50 years after [Muhammad] Ali was banned from boxing for his stance and Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s raised fists caused public ostracization and numerous death threats, we still need to call attention to the same racial inequities,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote, pointing out how Olympians John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised “Black Power” fists while accepting medals. In 1967, I joined with football great Jim Brown, basketball legend Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali and other prominent athletes for what was dubbed “The Cleveland Summit.” Together we tried to find ways to help Ali fight for his right of political expression.

Marylanders Travel Across State To Advocate For Free Speech

On Monday February 8, 2016, as the evening session commenced for the Maryland House of Delegates, it began with Delegates making announcements and welcoming special guests. Part way through this, Del. Jill Carter asked the gathered legislators to welcome “activists from across the state […] with Freedom2Boycott.” About 35 free speech activists stood up in the gallery and waved.

Freedom2Boycott is “a coalition of groups and individuals

By Chip Gibbons of Bill of Rights Defense Committee. On Monday February 8, 2016, as the evening session commenced for the Maryland House of Delegates, it began with Delegates making announcements and welcoming special guests. Part way through this, Del. Jill Carter asked the gathered legislators to welcome “activists from across the state […] with Freedom2Boycott.” About 35 free speech activists stood up in the gallery and waved. Freedom2Boycott is “a coalition of groups and individuals advocating for free speech rights in the State of Maryland in support of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) that promote social justice in Israel/Palestine.”

Crackdowns Show Transit Workers On Right Track

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By Samantha Winslow for Labor Notes – Even basic rights like free speech can’t be taken for granted, transit workers are finding out, when your speech makes the boss look bad. Around the country, members of the Amalgamated Transit Union have been threatened with discipline and arrest simply for bringing their message to the public at bus stops, in breakrooms, at public meetings, and on social media. As workers resist budget-crunching, ATU International President Larry Hanley said, “the companies are fighting back using the power of the police and the power of discharge.”

Project Censored 2015: Top Ten News Stories The Media Ignored

Censorship protecting you from reality

By Tim Redmond for Cascadia Weekly. As Project Censored staffers Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth note, 90 percent of U.S. news media—the traditional outlets that employ full-time reporters—are controlled by six corporations. “The corporate media hardly represent the mainstream,” the staffers wrote in the current edition’s introduction. “By contrast, the independent journalists that Project Censored has celebrated since its inception are now understood as vital components of what experts have identified as the newly developing ‘networked fourth estate.’”

Corporations And Governments The Real Threats To Free Speech

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By Corey Robin for FAIR – Anyone who can write a sentence like this simply doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Which is fine, but not fine when the person is the head of an organization dedicated to freedom of expression. By “our citizenry,” Nossel is referring to the recent round of free speech wars on college campuses. Now, when these issues of free speech arise on campus, you usually see an explosion of conversation about it: on the campus itself, and in the media. Far from dampening down discussion, the controversy over free speech on campus actually ignites discussion. Everyone has an opinion, everyone voices it.

Groups Sue Over Wyoming Environmental Censorship Laws

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By Staff of NRDC – CHEYENNE, WY – A diverse coalition of conservation, press, academic and animal-protection groups filed suit today in federal court seeking to strike down a pair of Wyoming state laws that stifle freedom of speech and make citizen science illegal in the state. The suit claims that in violation of Americans’ constitutional rights, the laws punish communication to government agencies of photos and data taken on open land, criminalizing otherwise lawful advocacy in an attempt to undercut protection of public lands and the environment. The challenge to Wyoming’s data trespass rules was brought in the federal district court of Wyoming by Western Watersheds Project, National Press Photographers Association, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Center for Food Safety.

OWS Lawsuit Aims To Stop The NYPD From Targeting Free Speech

A protester is arrested on September 16, 2012 (Jessica Lehrman / Gothamist)

By Christopher Robbins in Gothamist – A new lawsuit filed in federal court last week aims to challenge a reality evident to anyone who has attended a large political gathering in Lower Manhattan over the past decade: lawful behavior is no safeguard against being arrested. The lawsuit centers on more than 200 arrests made around the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street in September 2012, when the NYPD “should have known that members of its police force would encounter individuals engaged in expressive speech activity.” Instead, the NYPD continued to arrest and harass protesters for seemingly no reason other than that they were protesting. The lawsuit asserts that this is part of a “pattern, policy, and practice of the NYPD misapplying the disorderly conduct statute to peaceful protesters in New York City.”

Newsletter - No Justice, No Peace

No justice no peace We the People

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report writes that “No justice, no peace” is “a vow by the movement to transform the crisis that is inflicted on Black people into a generalized crisis for the larger society, and for those who currently rule.” In reality, given the violence being inflicted upon people, particularly people of color, whether directly or indirectly through rising poverty, unemployment, homelessness, lack of access to health care and more, and the government’s failures to address these crises and listen to the people, disruption is a necessary element of political change. In 1968 the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke outside a prison in California where people were being held for protesting the Vietnam War. In the speech he drew the connections between the Civil Rights movement and the peace movement against the Vietnam War. Today we see the links between racism, inequality, imperialism, militarism and ecocide and his comment on that day continues to ring true: “There can be no justice without peace. And there can be no peace without justice.”

Should A Secret Security Court Make Freedom Of Speech Decisions?

The Fisa court is just inside this building, but good luck finding out what’s happening there Photograph: Cliff Owen/AP

By Hannah Bloch-Wehba and Bruce Brown in The Guardian – Can a case about the freedom of speech be resolved in a secret court? In a widely publicized case, Twitter sued the Obama administration in a federal district court in California. The company wished to release a transparency report relating to the user information it is forced to turn over to the government under various surveillance collection programs, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) and the National Security Letter statutes. The government’s preferred venue for resolving Twitter’s First Amendment claim, though, resembles a black box more than an American court. According to the government, the Fisa court in Washington, DC should adjudicate Twitter’s constitutional claim about its right to speak.