Which Side Are You On, Tom?
Net Neutrality activists had one simple question for the FCC chairman on Tuesday: Which side are you on, Tom?
Net Neutrality supporters Popular Resistance organized political street theater outside the FCC. The goal: Urge Chairman Tom Wheeler to reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers. It's the only way to protect Net Neutrality and ban a pay-to-play Internet.
Popular Resistance members were joined by Code Pink, Free Press, the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press and other Net Neutrality activists.
Protesters held signs high: "HONK for Net Neutrality," "One Internet for Everyone," "Reclassify the Internet as a Common Carrier," and "NO to Internet Discrimination." Many FCC staffers looked on as they headed out for lunch.
Activists also sang chants, which included a remix of a popular Queen song:
Tom, are you a slick man, bought man
Lobby for your fat-cat friends, slipping tiered net rules
Just profits for the telecom industry
We will, we will, rock you.
Activists then squared off against telecom fat cats representing AT&T, Comcast and Verizon in a tug-of-war while a giant cut-out of Chairman Wheeler's face looked on.
As the two sides competed for the future of the Internet, activists sang:
Which Side Are You On, Tom,
Which side are you on?
Are you with the people or with the telecoms?
The Internet is our commons
We use it every day
But now the giant telecom
Would make it based on pay
For equal access Internet
Neutrality must not die;
We don't want flimsy rules
We say reclassify
Oh listen to the people
Their comments you must see
They say the Internet
Is a public utility
Don't forget that your job is
To serve the people's will
So don't give away our Internet
And leave us with the bill.
The tug-of-war ended with the people prevailing as their telecom opponents fell to the street in defeat.
The public is united in support of reclassifying ISPs as common carriers, and in opposition to the chairman's plan to create fast and slow lanes online. Anyone who wants real Net Neutrality needs to tell the FCC to side with the public as well. Send your comments today.