Mass Pro-Net Neutrality Protests Planned

Forces are massing for mass net neutrality protests Thursday, one week out from the planned Dec. 14 vote on FCC chairman Ajit Pai's order eliminating regulations against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.

That is also the day that the Federal Communications Bar Association will host a roast of Pai, which will likely see protests as well, if past is prologue--Former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler took some heat at a chairman's dinner before he decided to propose Title II-based rules.

For Example, Demand Progress has called for a protest outside the Pai dinner, as was the case with Wheeler, when the protest was confined to the street outside the building and there was no disruption of the actual event.

According to Evan Greer of protest organizer Fight for the Future, more than 600 protests are planned at Verizon stores and congressional offices across the country.

Related: FFTF, Pew Spar Over FCC Net Neutrality Docket Analysis

Greer says more than 150 musicians, artists and actors, and comedians have signed a letter to Congress endorsing the protests, including Alyssa Milano, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Against Me!, Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young), Amanda Palmer, Michael Stipe (REM), Downtown Boys, Talib Kweli, and Wil Wheaton (Star Trek:TNG).

"We support the people from across the political spectrum protesting across the country on December 7, and we echo their call for our members of Congress to do their jobs and take action to stop the FCC vote that’s planned for December 14," the letter read.

Hill Democrats have been trying to delay the vote, invoking fake comments in the net neutrality docket and suggesting, like Russian interference in elections, it needs more investigating, and unlike the case with the election, before any vote is taken.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai signaled this week the vote would proceed as planned, and the item would be adopted. He is confident he has two other Republican votes, while Democrats will be vociferously in opposition.

He also said in an op ed Wednesday (Dec. 6) that those suggesting his reg rollback would be the end of the internet were trying to "whip Americans into a frenzy by making outlandish claims" and "silly accusations."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.