We The People Light Brigade
DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE ACTIONS
ACTIONS ROLL ACROSS THE NATION DEFENDING INTERNET FREEDOM BEFORE HISTORIC FCC VOTE & IN OPPOSITION TO CONGRESSIONAL FAST-TRACKING OF LARGEST U.S. TRADE DEAL EVER
On February 26th the FCC will cast their historic vote on Net Neutrality. Simultaneously, when Congress reconvenes after the congressional recess, they are preparing to bring Fast Track of the Trans-Pacific Partnership up for a vote. The Rolling Rebellion for Real Democracy is confronting these two current issues of people power vs. corporate power that will have a major impact on people's lives.
Firstly, the issue of Net Neutrality. A people-powered movement has convinced the FCC to reclassify the Internet to ensure equal access for all without discrimination. Kevin Zeese of Popular Resistance notes that “Net Neutrality is essential for the exercise of Freedom of Speech in the 21st Century. Now the telecom companies are trying to convince their puppets in Congress to undermine the FCC's decision and once again, the people are fighting back.”
Secondly, TPP and Fast Track. For three years a movement opposed to secretly negotiated corporate trade agreements has stopped Congress from giving President Obama Fast Track trade authority. Fast Track would allow him to sign these secret agreements and then push them through Congress without hearings or amendments, with only brief debate on and an up-or-down vote. These trade agreements are structured solely in the interest of corporate gain. The TPP and Fast Track are bringing together odd bedfellows like in Spokane, WA where Tea Party members and Occupiers are coming together in opposition.
Eleanor Goldfield a musician with Rooftop Revolutionaries and activist with the Rolling Rebellion says passage of the TPP and Fast Track would “turn corporate personhood into corporate nationhood by creating international court systems and trade tribunals that allow corporations to challenge laws enacted by countries in the interest of public health, safety and justice.”
With this sovereignty, corporations would hold sway over nearly every facet of our lives, from food to Internet access. As Julian Assange wrote, “If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”
In the month of February, people are protesting at the grassroots level, combining their efforts into a national movement for equal access Internet and against secret trade deals. Years of organizing have brought these issues to a head. Now, activists have been mobilizing throughout the congressional recess and coordinating high-visibility actions in cities from coast to coast.
In Washington and Oregon a “Fair Trade or BusTour” complete with hand-painted murals and packed with constituents is paying visits to undecided members of congress. In San Diego, CA community-members will take to highway overpasses to deliver to their representatives their message emblazoned on LED light panels. In more than 10 cities across the U.S. activists will use guerrilla light projection to illuminate monuments and building facades with slogans like “Don't Let Comcast
Choke Your Freedom,” “No Slow Lanes, Open & Equal Internet For All,” and “TPP Dismantles Democracy - www.stopfasttrack.com.” Multiple were organized at telecom companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable who are second only to defense industries in the amount that they spend lobbying and buying favors from representatives who are supposed to serve "We The People." On February 25th in Washington, D.C. a new documentary “Killswitch:
The Battle to Control the Internet” was screened before members of congress and activists from across the country. Today activists will unveil a larger than life killswitch to dramatize the stakes of the historic FCC vote.
The FCC's announcement to vote in favor of Net Neutrality is a complete paradigm shift from less than a year ago; a true show of the effectiveness of focused, dedicated grassroots action.
If we continue to fight and win these battles, they will stand as tremendous victories of people power over corporate power. The people will have stopped some of the most powerful corporate lobbies in the United States including the telecoms and hundreds of transnational corporations.
Using high visibility, creative actions, the Rolling Rebellion has and will continue this fight. For more information, please visit www.rollingrebellion.org.
Photos by Rick Barry of Broken Shade Photo