With their sights firmly set on restoring the protections the Republican-controlled FCC repealed, advocates for net neutrality on Monday announced a new campaign to get senators' phones ringing off the hook with constituents demanding the lawmakers save the open internet before time runs out.
"Every internet user, every startup, every small business—the internet must come together to sound the alarm and save net neutrality," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, in a statement announcing the protest.
The "Red Alert for Net Neutrality"—an effort organized by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press Action Fund—will start May 9. That's the date when Senate Democrats will file a petition to force a vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC's net neutrality repeal. U.S Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who introduced the resolution, announced the development on Twitter:
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) April 30, 2018
The Democrats have the support of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), leaving them one vote shy of the needed 51 senators for the CRA to pass. "We're in the homestretch in the fight to save net neutrality," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. If the CRA passes the Senate, the House would then have to pass it as well.
The "red alert" action will continue until the Senate votes on the CRA, which could happen mid-May. According to Greer, the "Senate vote will be the most important moment for net neutrality since the FCC repeal. Now is the time to fight."
"This Senate vote will be the most important moment for net neutrality since the FCC repeal."
—Evan Greer, Fight for the FutureMajor websites including Etsy, Tumblr, and Foursquare already committed to taking part. That means they'll feature an unmistakable red banner with the text: "The FCC voted to let ISPs ruin the internet. But there's an imminent vote in the U.S. Senate to overrule them and restore net neutrality. Starting on May 9th until the day of the vote, put your website or social profile on RED ALERT to help sound the alarm and flood lawmakers with calls and emails. Are you in?"
The campaign is also encouraging social media users to help drive phone calls to senators and raise awareness of the issue by changing their profiles and banner images.
"Congress has the chance to rewind a terrible Trump administration policy decision, and one of its least popular, too," said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press Action Fund, noting that "net neutrality is overwhelmingly supported by people across the political spectrum: Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike."
"The FCC's disastrous vote late last year led to a historic outcry Congress must not ignore. There's only one way to stand up for real net neutrality—and to stand on the right side of history—and that's by voting for the resolution of disapproval to restore these essential safeguards," he continued. "The public will be closely watching who's looking out for them and who's only serving phone and cable lobbyists."