Speak Out for Net Neutrality at Minneapolis Public Hearing

Minnesotans – and folks in all surrounding states – listen up! If there’s one reason to break from your summer vacation, leave work early, or just step out of your daily routine, this would be it: your chance to tell the Federal Communications Commission in person that you want Net Neutrality and free speech online.

On Thursday, Aug. 19, FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn will be in Minneapolis to hear from you about the future of the Internet – and we don’t mean new apps and other cool stuff on the Web; we mean whether corporations like Google and Verizon should be allowed to grab control of the Internet and shut down the most democratizing platform we’ve seen in generations.

Here are the details:

    WHAT: Public Hearing on the Future of the Internet
    DATE: Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010
    TIME: 6:00 p.m.
    LOCATION: South High School Auditorium, 3131 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis

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Watch this video to find out more:

The event, co-hosted by Free Press, Main Street Project and the Center for Media Justice, is free and will include comments from the public.

Steven Renderos, media justice organizer at Main Street Project, explained why Minnesotans should turn out in droves to tell the FCC to protect the open Internet:

    In Minnesota, the Internet has become an increasingly critical platform for jobs, education and health care. It is important that the FCC step up to preserve the open Internet because without it, we risk further marginalizing the communities that need it the most.

In a recent speech, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken called Net Neutrality “the free speech issue of our time.” Without Net Neutrality, the Internet could go the way of cable TV, dominated by the largest companies, with higher prices, fewer choices and more limited access for consumers.

“The debate over the future of the Internet is at a critical moment, and now is the time to make your voice heard,” said Josh Silver, president of Free Press. “Net Neutrality and free speech online are at risk, and right now the only people at the table with the FCC in this debate are lobbyists for the phone and cable giants. The FCC needs to hear from the public so that Comcast, AT&T and Verizon cannot choose winners and losers online.”

And by “the public,” we mean you. The Minneapolis hearing is a rare opportunity to speak out not only for yourself, but also for the millions of other Americans across the country who want the FCC to stop the corporate takeover of the Internet. Show up and make your voice heard.