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4 Dec, 2017 13:40

‘Congress has blood on hands if net neutrality abolished’: Protests planned across US

‘Congress has blood on hands if net neutrality abolished’: Protests planned across US

A wave of protests against the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan to repeal net neutrality is planned in cities across the United States this weekend.

The commission announced last month that it will vote on December 14 to undo the 2015 net neutrality rules. The announcement has been met with with fervent opposition from supporters of net neutrality – a position which states that internet providers should not control what people do online.  

The rules prohibit internet providers from blocking sites and from prioritizing paid for ‘fast lanes’ which slow down the internet for everyone else.

The rollback is expected to pass the FCC vote. However Evan Greer, of pro-net neutrality group Fight for the Future, called on Americans to lobby their political representatives to keep the rules in place. “The reality is that Congress provides a critical role in overseeing the FCC,” she said to The Hill.

“If they sit back and do nothing and allow the FCC to move forward with this vote, then the blood of the internet is on their hands as well, and they will be to blame for getting rid of these basic consumer protections.”

According to Battleforthenet.com over 764,000 people have called their congressman since the campaign began and more than 82,000 calls have been made this week.

The weekend’s protests are set to take place at Verizon stores across the country. Verizon stores were chosen as the venue for the demonstrations because FCC Chairman Ajit Pai previously worked as a lawyer for the telecommunications conglomerate.

“By protesting at Verizon stores, we’re shining light on the corruption and demanding that our local do something about it,” the protests’ organizers say.

“Only Congress has the power to stop Verizon's puppet FCC, so at the protests we'll be calling and tweeting at legislators, and in cities where it's possible we'll march from Verizon stores to lawmakers offices.”