Civil Rights Champions, Leaders, and Allies:
Big media companies and Internet Service Providers are trying to make the Internet a closed, gated community- placing innovation, opportunity, and democracy at risk.
The Center for Media Justice is deeply disappointed by the recent ruling of the D.C. Court of Appeals that the Federal Communications Commission has no authority to stop Comcast from blocking, slowing, or otherwise discriminating against content they don’t like. This decision prevents the FCC not only from ensuring open Internet protections, but also from ensuring full broadband adoption and affordability in communities pushed furthest to the margins. Will you let big media companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T take away your voice? Please protect Broadband access for communities of color and the poor by signing on to our letter to the FCC.
As civil rights leaders, grassroots activists, philanthropic leaders, small businesses, artists, and members of marginalized communities- we all use the Internet to reach larger audiences and manage our daily lives. In the context of extreme media bias and significant barriers to media access, the openness of the Internet provides us a necessary path to democratic engagement and social change in the 21st Century.
Parul Desai of the Media Access Project commented, “Because this case has turned into a lawyers’ debate over technical issues, it is easy to lose sight of its importance to freedom of speech and expression. ISP interference to lawful uses of the Internet must not be tolerated, and the Commission must have the power to adopt rules to prohibit such practices.”
Will you stand with Commissioner Clyburn, President Obama, the Center for Media Justice, the Media Action Grassroots Network, the Open Internet Coalition, and civil rights leaders Color of Change, Center for Community Change, the Applied Research Center, the National Hispanic Media Coalition and others to encourage the FCC to be bold and ensure their jurisdiction by defining broadband as a Title II Universal Service?
CMJ, the grassroots members of the Media Action Grassroots Network, and the more than 300 organizations nationwide that have taken the pledge to be Digital Inclusion Champions maintain the FCC must have the authority to protect all Internet users against the uncompetitive, profit-bearing values of corporate Internet Service Providers. Despite this ruling, the FCC remains a powerful and important decision-making body and the only vehicle through which those at the margins can define and defend our right to online content that is meaningful to our lives. The FCC has the authority to do this, and to fulfill their mandate to protect the public interest they must make broadband a Title II Universal Service.
Please learn more about the issue through our latest interviews on the subject on the KPFA morning show, National Public Radio, and Hard Knock Radio, or listen to the voices of grassroots leaders, and marginalized communities on the national demand for an open Internet without corporate gatekeepers.
In the words of author Chris Rabb, “This minor victory for Big Telecom may very well be their Waterloo in their battle against Internet freedom." Your voice will make a difference.
Malkia A. Cyril, amalia deloney, Karlos Guana Schmieder, Oshen Turman
The Center for Media Justice Action Team