From June 17-20, 2010 the 12th annual Allied Media Conference is held in Detroit, MI. Each year more than 1000 participants attend the conference, and participate in a mixture of media and communications, technology, education and social justice. This year, the Media Action Grassroots Network hosted a 'Media Policy for Social Change' track at the conference featuring five workshops:
Broadband for the People
Digital Justice Coalition Meet Up
What’s Your Internet Story Learning Lab
Cultivating Our Digital Ecology: From a Community Vision to a Broadband Plan
While each workshop was inspirational, the Phone Justice panel was especially moving and broke new ground in the fight for communication rights. Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd, Ed Petsche from Twin Cities Community Voicemail, Paul Wright of Prison Legal News, Kim Lyons of the Virgin Island Prison Project and Kris Rios of Peoples Production House addressed the importance of phones as tools for communication rights. Whether wireline or wireless, phones and phone calls are a vital part of our communication system, and a piece of technology that many of us take for granted. These panelists spoke from their personal experience, sharing stories of how prisoners, the homeless, immigrants and immigrant detainees often experience phones and phone calls as a privilege, not a right. Exorbitant collect-calling surcharges, limited ‘Safelink’ minutes, outrageous “pay-per-minute” prices and fraudulent calling cards are just some of the issues they face.
Yet workshops weren't the only way that MAG-Net participated in the AMC. We also hosted the MAG-Net Hour of Power on 'We Are Ready Now' radio special. On Saturday, June 19th our Hour of Power included interviews with MAG-Net members in MN, TX, NM and NY, our partners from the New America Foundation, and a special guest visit from Lola Q-hottie. Check us out at: 33:45!
AMC was also home to the debut of the new MAG-Net anthem. Following the success of Broadband in Yo Face–and in anticipation of the FCC vote to open up a discussion on reclassifying broadband as a Title II common-carrier service–members of MAG-Net created a summer jam, that put a new spin on the Warren G and Nate Dogg classic, "Regulate.” MAG-Net rewrote the lyrics to call on the FCC to "regulate" the telcos when it comes to broadband. If you listen, you’ll learn in and "this debate ain't only for Telcos and nerds."
Take a minute to listen to the song, and be sure to look out for MAG-Net in a city near you!
Lyrics and Vocals: Steven Renderos and Kris Rios
Outro: Hannah Garcia
Concept: Chance Williams
Production: Brandon Brandon Bagaason of bigquarters.com
We regulate any communications policy
And we're damn good too
But you can't be any geek off the street,
Gotta be handy with appeals if you know what I mean, earn your keep!
REGULATORS, MOUNT UP!
It was a clear black night, a clear white moon
Julius G was on the net, trying to consume
Some tweets for the eve, so I can get demand
For an open Internet and the broadband plan
Just hit the Eastside of the FCC
On a mission trying to find Commissioner G
Seen a car full of telcos ain't no need to freak
All you suits know what's up with net neutrality
So I hooks a left on 1-2 and D Street
AT&T, wanna talk to Julius G
I jumped out the ride and said "What's up?"
Some telcos pulled out stats so I said "I'm stuck"
Telcos peepin me trying to have a word
Comcast lying so hard they straight hit my nerves
Won't cha think of better things than some bundled tricks
See Commish had some Telcos all in his mix
"They're gettin jacked, including myself
I can't believe you're taking people's wealth
You took TV, you're taking internet!"
I looked at the brotha said, "Damn what's next?"
They got Julius hemmed up, what they 'bout to do?
Ain't none of'em feelin Internet as a Title II
They wanna profit real quick before they throw down
Even though we need the net from town to town
They got money to spend, I think I'm going down
I can't believe, there's no one around
If we could reclassify, let me contemplate
I glanced in the cut, I see Commissioner Nate
I laid all them statutes down
I let Comcast explode
Now I'm switching my side back into peep mode
If you want an open net, have your voices heard
This debate ain't only for Telcos and nerds
Now we can regulate and that's a known fact
But we're under attack, you need to have our backs
Back up back up cause it's on
With the FCC and me, the Julius to the G
You know those Telcos, they don’t know who they’re messing with
We’re the Media Action Grassroots Network
and we ain’t no joke
Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, we’re comin' for you
Telling everybody ‘bout your schemes to profit from our dreams
Subsidies, transparency, protections and access is what we’re fighting for
and we gon’ get it
FCC Regulators, MOUNT UP