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'Face Reality! We Need Net Neutrality!' Crowd Chants Across the Country (arstechnica.com) 296

ArsTechnica staff took to the streets in Washington DC, New York, and San Francisco to capture rallies in support for net neutrality, a week before the FCC is scheduled to take a historic vote rolling back network neutrality regulations. From their report: Protestors say those regulations, which were enacted by the Obama FCC in 2015, are crucial for protecting an open Internet. Organizers chose to hold most of the protests outside of Verizon cell phone stores. Ajit Pai, the FCC Chairman who is leading the agency's charge to repeal network neutrality, is a former Verizon lawyer, and Verizon has been a critic of the Obama network neutrality rules. The protest that got the most attention from FCC decision makers took place on Thursday evening in Washington DC. The FCC was holding a dinner event at the Hilton on Connecticut Avenue, just north of the city's Dupont Circle area. Protestors gathered on the street corner outside the hotel, waving pro-net neutrality posters to traffic, blaring chants, projecting pro-net neutrality messages on a building across the street, and telling personal stories about what net neutrality meant to them via a megaphone. The FCC's two Democratic commissioners also joined the demonstration, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel. They both gave brief speeches to the protestors, rallying for the cause and discussing the importance of a neutral Internet.
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'Face Reality! We Need Net Neutrality!' Crowd Chants Across the Country

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  • Chants (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @11:07AM (#55701809) Homepage Journal
    Chanting does a lot of good. It really changes things, because the government really cares what you think.
    • Re:Chants (Score:5, Interesting)

      by clonehappy ( 655530 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @11:22AM (#55701921)

      Remember, these are the same kinds of people that think Shouting at the Sky [newsweek.com] is an effective tool to get Trump impeached.

    • Re:Chants (Score:5, Funny)

      by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @11:22AM (#55701923)

      Homeless dude's Resume:

      Participated in Anti-Trump Rally. Looked very upset.

      Participated in BLM Rally. Looked very sincere.

      Participated in Climate Rally. Looked very scared.

      Participated in Net Neutrality Rally. Looked very confused.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Funny. That's almost identical to Trump's Resume for PotUS.

    • Re:Chants (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Eldaar ( 5056619 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @11:45AM (#55702115)
      Clearly many national politicians don't much care what the people think, but they do care about getting re-elected.

      As it turns out, chanting and protesting can draw media attention. And when the media actually does cover protests, that's when politicians start to feel the heat - when they start to realize that the issue might affect their re-election, at least a little bit. And that's when they'll start to care.

      So protesting matters in that sense. It also helps the public see what others in society think is important enough to protest about, which can affect the viewers' own thinking on the issue. Protesting also matters in that sense.
      • Bingo. But it is only effective if it is followed up in the ballot box. But the people who are chanting have low historical voting participation rates.
    • Re:Chants (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ljw1004 ( 764174 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @11:58AM (#55702213)

      Chanting does a lot of good. It really changes things, because the government really cares what you think.

      See: Gandhi, MLK, John Woolman, Emmeline Pankhurst, Ned Ludd, and the "can't pay won't pay" chants that took down Margaret Thatcher - http://www.economist.com/node/... [economist.com]

      I think that chanting is the most effective means we have to change society, second only to "having lots of money". (albeit a distant second).

      • It wasn't chanting that made MLK or Ghandi effective or created change.
        • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

          It wasn't chanting that made MLK or Ghandi effective or created change.

          ?? If you mean specifically "chant some words" then no of course not. But chanting as part of a protest gathering -- this is exactly what caused change.

    • So we should all just STFU and let Trump and his cronies assfuck America?
    • Chanting does a lot of good. It really changes things, because the government really cares what you think.

      I think the effectiveness depends on where it happens. For example, many top-level Republicans are chanting "rape, pillage, plunder", but *only* in private. In public, they quietly write/pass bills and endorse people to make it happen. So, as with many thing, know your audience.

  • If not, Ajit Pai doesn't care about what you have to say. Anti-net-neutrality bot comments are acceptable in any form however.

  • They dont matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @11:21AM (#55701903) Journal
    They will never show up to vote. Their mentality is, "If you are not perfect, there is no difference between the two candidates, I am going to stay home or vote for some useless candidate to send a message". They are easily defeated in elections.

    Politicians can safely ignore them. And they do.

    • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )
      What should they do instead? Vote for someone who doesn't share their interests? Something else?
      • Re:They dont matter (Score:5, Informative)

        by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @11:47AM (#55702129) Journal
        Show up to vote. Be fanatical. Show up to the most insignificant local election to the dog catcher, ask the candidate if they support "net neutrality". It will percolate up.

        Be like NRA members. They are a force to be reckoned with. Organize under a banner, and show that you believe. In a democracy only voters count.

        Protests don't help. Showing up at a campaign for the Municipality Sanitation board candidate and pester that candidate about net neutrality. If they think you are a voter they will pay attention. If they know you will definitely show up to vote they will court you.

        • It's not as simple as that. I have many issues that I care about, some more than others. When trying to decide who to vote for, or which party more correctly, it's trying to weigh up how they compare to my weighted list of issues. The party that best matches my list gets my vote. That means I'm going to have to sacrifice some issues on election day but that doesn't mean I no longer care about them.

          Referendums aren't the answer. They're costly, people aren't going to research the topic, and you aren't always

          • When the hard won rights of individuals are given to corporations, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and courts rule corporations spending money to influence elections is same as individual freedom of speech ... you know which party you should vote for. If you find some reason to even consider the party beholden to corporations... There is no hope.
    • Their mentality is, "If you are not perfect, there is no difference between the two candidates, I am going to stay home or vote for some useless candidate to send a message".

      What state do they live in? In at least 40 out of 50 states, a person's vote doesn't count, since there's no question about which candidate will win in their state.

    • They will never show up to vote. Their mentality is, "If you are not perfect, there is no difference between the two candidates, I am going to stay home or vote for some useless candidate to send a message". They are easily defeated in elections.

      Politicians can safely ignore them. And they do.

      Oh you're one of those people who vote for someone because they are part of "your party"? You're easily ignored too. Politicians can say and do whatever they want because you're an automatic vote.

  • test driven policy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bugs2squash ( 1132591 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @11:22AM (#55701913)

    OK, so let's say the proposed change is crafted to increase competition, improve service, reduce prices, and put a chicken in every pot before 18 months are up. All these things are testable. All significant policy changes from any side should come with a test plan, a rollout plan, a success criteria and a backout plan for every stage of the rollout.

    And if the effect of the policy change is too small to determine among all the other noise in the system take specific steps to address that by bundling policy changes or testing it in a smaller environment - I believe even the Chinese do that. For example, ask for state governors to volunteer their state as a testbed for policy that they believe is a great idea for the US as a whole.

  • ... also not regulating what people SAY on that open internet. And yet, many of these same protesters would also rally to shut down internet access for [insert unpopular group here].

    And we really have not had a "neutral" network since someone discovered their network was saturated by SOMEONE ELSE'S TRAFFIC, and figured out how to make sure theirs had priority.

  • When vid.me shutdown, it was another piece of evidence that if NN was going to be implemented, it should have been implemented from the ISPs all the way to many of the big tech companies as well. Platform companies are all either platform companies or they aren't. ISPs should not be singled out for discrimination on being "dumb pipes" in terms of not being allowed to discriminate against legal content.

    As it turns out, it's even harder to build an unsubsidized YouTube competitor (YouTube would have been bank

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @11:45AM (#55702111)
    That didn't vote for Trump are protesting. Folks, you do realize this doesn't matter, right? Steve Bannon might be an unrepentant asshole but he said something brilliant. I'm paraphrasing here but the gist is: if the other side keeps banging on about issue the working class doesn't care about and we're sticking to a message of economic popularism we're going to be in power for the next 1000 years. I know a bunch of liberals who were upset that the 1000 year part was a thinly veiled reference to the Third Reich, again, missing the point entirely...
    • I know a bunch of liberals who were upset that the 1000 year part was a thinly veiled reference to the Third Reich, again, missing the point entirely...

      No it wasn't. It was a reference to something a liberal said about being in power for ending segregation.

  • Ajit has made clear he doesn't believe in government regulation (net neutrality), and instead argues that a pro-market approach (competition) is best. Appeal to that. Don't stop at repealing net neutrality. Repeal the government-granted service monopolies which take away people's choice of cable company and phone company.

    There are two ways to lick this problem. Either complete government regulation, or complete free market (any ISP which tries to throttle Netflix unless Netflix paid them would be sho
    • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @12:25PM (#55702417) Homepage Journal

      The problems with that are twofold: 1. Nobody wants a hundred companies digging up their yard. 2. Even if they did, most areas are not dense enough to viably support more than one infrastructure provider.

      So the "market-based" approach basically translates to, "Screw poor areas. You don't get fast Internet. Screw rural areas. You don't get fast Internet. Screw everybody in suburbia. You don't get fast Internet. But if you live in dense housing in one of about twenty or thirty major cities, you'll get three or four choices." You cannot create competition in a natural monopoly market. It can't be done no matter how much you deregulate, because the incumbent will always be able to cut costs to nothing until the newcomer goes out of business, then raise rates to make up that money and more. I've watched this happen in smaller markets.

      The only viable semi-market-based approach is one in which the government builds the infrastructure and leases access to ISPs in a nondiscriminatory fashion. But the Republicans don't like that approach because it doesn't produce monopolies for their cronies, so appealing to their desire for competition won't help.

    • "any ISP which tries to throttle Netflix unless Netflix paid them would be shooting themselves in the foot - their customers would cancel and sign up with an ISP which didn't throttle Netflix"

      Not really. 1) they can blame netflix. "oh netflix doesnt want to partner with us, we are the victims of this! would you work for "free"? so why should we as poor ISPs?"

      2) they will simply develop multiple "tiers" of internet service. The exact same as you can buy a cable package today, tomorrow you can pay an extra $7

  • In the meantime there is barely a blip on news networks. Between the news networks being owned by the 'big boys' and possibly a lack of effort of trying to connect with the non-IT crowd, there is a risk the message is just going to be lost in the noise of everything else trying to grab headlines. I don't want to be negative, but I really feel the money won and the people lost, and the FCC failed to uphold what it was meant to stand for.

  • Send all your upset chants in packets to the IP addresses of the devices of the people who aren't listening to you. ;)

  • by speedlaw ( 878924 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @06:06PM (#55704191) Homepage
    When I was told that I had to pay my witholding on line (small business), that was the day the internet became a Utiltiy. I could not pay at my bank...who used to take tax deposit. I cannot pay by check to a mail address. No, I must, must, must pay on line. If I have to pay on line, then it is a utility, like the post office, or a common carrier, like the Bell System. Back in the day when they couldn't monitor traffic, the phone co wanted immunity for any illegal acts for which the phone was used....so common carrier helped them. Now that they expect to packet sniff every transaction, they are greedy for fast and slow lanes.

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