Today, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and Free Press Action Fund announced plans for mass online actions on June 11, the day the FCC’s resoundingly unpopular repeal will go into effect.
The groups behind BattleForTheNet.com, a site millions have used to contact their lawmakers in support of an open internet, issued a strong warning to lawmakers: Sign the discharge petition and support the CRA resolution to block the repeal before its effective date, or become the target of a summer activism campaign including ad buys, in-district protests, small-business pressure, and a barrage of angry constituent phone calls.
Earlier this month, the Senate voted 52–47 in a historic upset to pass a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution disapproving of the FCC’s gutting of open-internet protections. More than 175 representatives in the House have already indicated their support for the same resolution. A total of 218 signatures are needed to force the CRA resolution to the floor, a goal that’s increasingly within reach in the wake of the Senate’s bipartisan vote.
Net Neutrality protections have broad bipartisan support among voters across the country. An April 2018 University of Maryland poll showed 82 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of Democrats oppose FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s decision to repeal the Title II open-internet protections his predecessor put in place. Several other public polls show a consistent pattern of support for Net Neutrality protections among Republicans, Democrats and independents alike.
June 11 will serve as the kick-off for intense campaigning focused on House lawmakers, who will be under tremendous pressure to support the CRA ahead of the midterm elections, given that voters from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support restoring the rules.
“Few policies coming out of Washington in recent years have been as universally opposed as the FCC’s repeal of Net Neutrality,” said Demand Progress Communications Director Mark Stanley. “Poll after poll makes this clear, and grassroots energy in support of the CRA resolution to reverse the FCC vote remains at peak levels. An army of telecom lobbyists have worked overtime on Capitol Hill to turn Net Neutrality into a partisan issue. Despite these efforts, a bipartisan majority in the Senate voted to pass the CRA resolution. Now it’s up to representatives to follow suit and overturn the FCC’s disastrous repeal of Net Neutrality, which would cut off small businesses’ ability to reach customers, harm rural communities that lack choice in internet providers, and negatively impact everyone who relies on an open internet for news, speech and entertainment.”
“People are going to be pissed off. Really pissed off. And rightly so. It’s hard to imagine a more clear example of how our democracy is broken,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future. “We’re going to harness the power of the internet to ensure that people have a way to channel that anger productively. Any lawmaker of any party who fails to sign the discharge petition in support of the CRA will regret it come election time.”
“This will be one of the biggest showdowns of the summer in the House,” said Free Press Action Fund Campaign Director Candace Clement. “For constituents everywhere Net Neutrality is non-negotiable. Our elected representatives can either side with the people and support the CRA or with the cable and phone lobby. Activists and advocates in every district are already turning up the heat on anyone who sells out their constituents to line the pockets of AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. Keeping the internet open is critical. It powers social movements, and provides a global platform for people of color, LGBTQ people and the most marginalized communities to tell their own stories, run their own businesses and route around powerful gatekeepers.”