Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838

Press Release

Verizon Protests Today at 700 Locations Nationwide as People Rise Up Against Ajit Pai’s Plan to Undo Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON -

On Thursday, thousands of Net Neutrality supporters will protest outside more than 700 Verizon stores in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. Other Dec. 7 protests will occur at nearly 20 congressional in-district offices, and outside the Washington Hilton Hotel during tonight’s “FCC Chairman’s Dinner.”

Protesters will highlight FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to repeal the Net Neutrality 2015 rules that prevent broadband companies from blocking access to websites, purposefully slowing down internet speeds or otherwise interfering with online traffic.

BattlefortheNet.com partners Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and Free Press Action Fund launched www.verizonprotests.com to help activists organize the protests. In the two weeks since Pai released his proposal, more than 750,000 people have used the www.battleforthenet.com call tool to urge lawmakers in Washington to condemn the FCC plan to destroy Net Neutrality.

Pai, who has scheduled a Dec. 14 vote to gut the Net Neutrality protections, has close ties to Verizon, where he once worked as a lawyer. The telecommunications giant has spent millions of dollars on lobbyists, campaign contributions and think tanks to spread misinformation about Net Neutrality. The Washington dinner, attended by phone and cable industry executives, lobbyists, lawyers and the press, is a “roast” honoring Chairman Pai.

“The outcry from beyond the Beltway is beginning to change many minds in Washington,” said Free Press Action Fund Field Director Mary Alice Crim. “Phones are ringing off the hook on Capitol Hill as people take to the streets to put the public need for an open internet before the demands of Verizon lobbyists. Despite the outpouring of support for Net Neutrality, the three men who make up the FCC’s majority remain determined to ignore the democratic process and take away the rights of internet users. One thing is certain: Chairman Pai won’t have the last word on Net Neutrality.”

Dozens of lawmakers have spoken out against Pai’s plan since the drumbeat of phone calls to Capitol Hill began in late November. A handful of Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington, have joined scores of Democratic and independent leaders to express concerns about Pai’s unpopular proposal.

“This is the kind of corruption that turns your stomach,” said Fight for the Future Campaign Director Evan Greer. “This is why people are protesting at hundreds of Verizon stores and Congressional offices across the country on Thursday, and why close to a million people have called Congress. Under Pai’s leadership the FCC has made a mockery of our democratic process. With a rogue FCC commissioner blatantly captured by the industry he is supposed to provide oversight for, Congress must do their job and take action to stop the FCC vote on Dec. 14.”

The passion for Net Neutrality protections crosses party lines. A Civis Analytics poll from July found that 77 percent of Americans support the current protections, including 73 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democrats.

“As the past two weeks have shown, people reject the ongoing love affair between hated internet service providers and D.C. policymakers,” said Demand Progress Director of Communications Mark Stanley. “Democrats and Republicans alike are willing to take action against any threat to Net Neutrality rules that protect our online rights. People across the country are refusing to give up without a fight ahead of the FCC vote on Dec. 14, and they will continue to mobilize as long as it takes until the open-internet rules are protected.”

BattlefortheNet.com is a collaborative effort of Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and Free Press Action Fund. These organizations also run a massive grassroots organizing initiative called Team Internet, which involves nearly half a million people who are willing to take their Net Neutrality activism from the internet to the streets. The coalition was instrumental in organizing millions of people across the United States in support of the FCC’s 2015 decision to ground Net Neutrality protections in Title II of the Communications Act.

###

Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what’s actually happening in their communities.

Dems Mark Anniversary of 13th Amendment With Calls to 'Close the Slavery Loophole'

"Prison labor is slave labor. Pass the #AbolitionAmendment."

Jessica Corbett ·


Urging Dems to 'Fight for Justice,' Progressives Launch 'Pass the PRO Act Holiday Tour'

"We've seen time and time again, when Democrats don't deliver quickly for their base and for labor, bad things happen, and you're approaching that precipice again."

Brett Wilkins ·


Dems Urge DOJ Antitrust Probe Into $43 Billion Discovery-WarnerMedia Merger

"Giant corporations must not be allowed to stomp out competition, put up barriers to enter the market, and continue to exclude Latinos from the media industry."

Jessica Corbett ·


DOJ Lawsuit Challenging Texas Gerrymandering Met With Applause, Calls for Action in Congress

"While we are grateful for the involvement of the federal government, what we need to stop the five-decade cycle of having to take legal action every 10 years is for Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act," said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'Nobody Is Above the Law': Elizabeth Warren Applauds SEC Probe of Trump's Social Media Venture

"There may have been serious violations of securities laws during the proposed merger of Digital World Acquisition Corp. and Trump's media company," said the Massachusetts Democrat.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo