Civil Rights Leaders Applaud the FCC's Vote to Protect the Open Internet

Contact Info: 

Center for Media Justice:
Danielle Chynoweth,, 217-721-7223
CJ Frogozo,, 310-570-2622
Michele Setteducato,, 732-614-3818
Molly Haigh (Fitzgibbon Media),, 907-750-1999

National Hispanic Media Coalition:
Brian Pacheco,, office: 626-792-6462; mobile: 213-718-0732

Free Press:
Timothy Karr,, office: 202-265-1490 ext. 31; mobile 201-232-9609

WASHINGTON ­­— A cohort of civil rights leaders applaud the Federal Communications Commission for listening to communities of color who have called on the agency to protect the open Internet applying strong and enforceable Net Neutrality rules.

The FCC voted 3–2 on Thursday to adopt rules that prevent Internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from blocking, throttling or otherwise discriminating against Web traffic and services.  The rules apply the agency’s authority under Title II of the Communications Act to prevent these providers from creating a pay-for-play Internet with fast lanes for the few who can afford steep tolls and slow lanes for the rest of us.

The following statements are from civil rights and racial justice leaders representing organizations that are members of the Voices for Internet Freedom Coalition:

Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice

“The Center for Media Justice — home of the Media Action Grassroots Network — vigorously applauds today's vote for Title II Net Neutrality. On this historic day, the FCC rejected separate and unequal representation online and proved that a small group of committed people can make very big changes. Instead of capitulating to the virulent race-baiting and industry lies, or cowering before the threat of legal action or legislation, today the FCC codified rules that lock in place the power of the Internet to help close gaps in equity that disadvantage communities of color.”

Rashad Robinson, executive director of

“The open Internet is the platform that allows ordinary people to speak with an unfiltered voice, and Net Neutrality is what protects that. A new civil rights movement is now flourishing in this country in response to tragic and unjust police violence in Ferguson, Staten Island, and many other communities. But without Net Neutrality, the voices of everyday people wouldn’t have a chance. Today the FCC has taken crucial steps toward protecting a vital tool in the fight for equality and justice. This victory shows that people power can sometimes triumph over corporate dollars.”

Arturo Carmona, executive director of

“Today we celebrate the FCC's decision to protect Net Neutrality. This is an important win for the rights of Latinos and all people of color. Our ability to produce our own content, speak for ourselves, and use the Internet as a crucial tool for engaging in our democracy has been protected. We need to ensure that the fight to protect Net Neutrality is protected and that the FCC is empowered to do its job as a regulatory agency."

Jessica Gonzalez, executive vice president and general counsel of the National Hispanic Media Coalition

“This is a historic day and a historic victory. As people of color, we have come to rely on the open Internet to educate ourselves, organize for social change, engage in the political process and push back against a history of discrimination and exclusion in traditional media. I applaud the FCC majority for sifting through the nonsense arguments of a few Internet service providers and their massive team of lobbyists, and siding with the American people for a truly open Internet.”   

Joseph Torres, senior external affairs director of Free Press

“The FCC's decision today is a victory in the struggle for racial justice in our country. It’s simply hard to fight for the health and well being of communities of color if we aren’t able to speak for ourselves.  While we celebrate today’s victory, we know we’re going to need to continue to fight for our digital rights to ensure our voices are never silenced.”