Write the Power NY 21 holding protest to support net neutrality Dec. 7 in Canton
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 8:45 am

CANTON — Write the Power NY 21 is participating a protest Dec. 7 at noon at a Verizon store to stand up for net neutrality. The protest will be held on the sidewalk and grass easement in front of Russell Cellular, 5933 U.S Highway 11.

The current net neutrality rules affect everyone who uses the internet by protecting fair access for businesses and consumers alike.

On Dec. 14, the FCC, headed by Verizon-lawyer-turned-FCC-Chairman Ajit Pai, intends to vote to end net neutrality "and the internet as we know it," event organizers said.

His former employer, Verizon, is one of a few beneficiaries of this change, Wendy Haugh of Write the Power NY 21 says.

Write the Power NY 21 "works to hold officials accountable on issues of social justice, equity, and civic responsibility," group officials said.

On Dec. 7 people are standing up for net neutrality at Verizon stores nationwide.

“Here in Canton, we plan to show up with our signs, voices, and good cheer to tell Chairman Pai that it is unacceptable to turn the public thoroughfare that is the internet into a private toll road,” Landry said.

“Why do we need to stand up? Without net neutrality, internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon or Time Warner Cable (Spectrum) will be free to speed up or slow down selected content (whether Netflix movies, on-line games, or political speech) based upon a subscriber's willingness or ability to pay,” Landry said. “A move to end net neutrality will make the internet slower, more expensive, and less free, while allowing ISPs to make even more money off of their captive subscribers.”

Protesters hope a strong show of dissent can convince FCC members Ajit Pai, Brendan Carr, and Michael O'Rielly to change their votes. “If that fails, our dissent will help impress upon our legislators the need to take action to protect net neutrality,” Haugh said.

The national protests are being organized by Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press Action Fund, all non-partisan organizations fighting for a free internet. The Canton protest is being organized by Write the Power NY 21.

“We ask participants to keep in mind that our protest is not aimed at the employees of our local Verizon store, but at Verizon executives and lobbyists as well as the FCC,” Haugh said.

For more information, contact Ben Landry or Wendi Haugh at [email protected].