Net neutrality protests start Thursday—how to find one near you
Net neutrality supporters plan a nationwide series of protests starting Thursday outside Verizon stores, where they will express their opposition to the pending repeal of net neutrality rules.
You can find local protests by going to this webpage and searching by ZIP code.
Verizon stores aren’t the only places where there will be protests. In Washington, DC, for example, there will be a protest at the annual FCC Chairman’s Dinner on Thursday. There will be another protest outside the FCC building on December 13, one day before the vote to repeal net neutrality rules. Many protests will be happening on Saturday as well.
“Verizon’s puppet FCC”
Protesters chose Verizon stores because Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was associate general counsel at the company between 2001 and 2003. Verizon has been a longtime opponent of net neutrality rules, having filed the lawsuit that led to a previous version of the rules being thrown out by a judge.
The protest organizers are advocacy groups Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press Action Fund.
“The new chairman of the FCC was a top lawyer at Verizon. Now he’s calling for a vote to kill net neutrality,” the groups say. “We’re protesting at retail stores across the US to demand that Congress stop Verizon’s puppet FCC from destroying the Internet as we know it.”
There could be some protests at the FCC meeting as well. Net neutrality supporters disrupted an FCC meeting in April this year with a “Rickroll”; they sang Rick Astley’s famous song but with modified lyrics proclaiming their love of common carriers.
There were also protests at a May 2014 meeting when the FCC was considering rules that would have allowed ISPs to charge websites for prioritization. The FCC eventually prohibited paid prioritization along with blocking and throttling in February 2015, but those rules are now being repealed by Pai’s Republican majority.