Xica Media

Net Neutrality, Indigenous Resistance, and What To Do

As originally posted on Indigenous Again

The wars against the sacred geographies of Mother Earth and our bodies/communities are connected. The simultaneous attacks on the geographical and personal landscapes feel overwhelming. As the earth has her body stripped with pipelines, border walls, extractive resource industries, and massive pollution we experience things including police brutality, gentrification, over incarceration, femicide/stolen sisters (by-products of colonization/border wall/man camps), and a legislated stripping of our civil and human rights and access/ability to assert/defend them.

The intent to “repeal net neutrality” is a modern example of ongoing, inter-generational colonization.  History teaches us this method of silencing results in cultural genocide and facilitates literal genocide.  It has been used as a tool of war for generations.  We still remember the burning of our sacred books (amoxtin).  We still feel the systemic media bias, propaganda, and false narratives about POC in the headlines.  We know about the colonial versions of history and myths replicated within public education systems.

The killing of open internet is a battle that our generation is faced with – one that affects all other front lines. 

The attack on the ability to speak and have our voices heard affects us collectively and individually.  It is a war against the sacred tradition of storytelling by killing our ability to add our stories to a public, global codex of human experience and knowledge.  For frontline communities in resistance, it is a war against our ability to let the world know we are being attacked and need assistance.  For all people, it is a war against the ability to build relationships that reach beyond borders, to connect/reconnect as individuals and communities, to decolonize, and to save the planet.

“A Net Neutrality repeal would remove one of the very few most important first amendment protections communities of color have today, at a time when free speech protections are more important than ever. The right to speak and be heard; the ability to seek opportunity, stay connected, and protest injustice — these are core civil rights. In a digital age, protecting core civil rights means enforcing, not repealing, Title II Net Neutrality.” – Malkia Cyril, executive director at the Center for Media Justice.

Yes, the “traditional” non-technology-based flows of communication continue to exist within our communities and not everything on the internet is good.  Yes, technology can disrupt our relationships to those next to us by expanding access to those far away from us.  And yes, perhaps we can survive and continue to communicate without internet like our ancestors did.  But for us in this generation, losing what we have would result in a blood sacrifice.  Many of frontline communities and earth defense movements now depend on the internet to resist, assert, and voice their right to exist.

What can you do?

The Center for Media Justice offers the following suggestions and resources:

  1. Send a message to Congress telling them that you oppose Trump FCC’s plan to destroy Net Neutrality and ask them to clearly state what side they’re on.
  2. Demand public statements against Chairman Pai’s repeal order from your congressional representatives. You can use our Battle for the Net tool to locate and call your congressional member.
  3. On December 7th, Fight for the Future is coordinating a national day of protest at Verizon stores across the country. Read more about these actions here and visit VerizonProtests.com to get more information about protests in your area.
  4. On December 14th, Center for Media Justice in partnership with the Voices for Internet Freedom Coalition is hosting a Wake Up Call Rally outside of the FCC – Let us know you’re coming by RSVPing today!

The following is via the Stop the Vote Toolkit:

Stop FCC Chairman Pai from Killing Net Neutrality – Protect Your Voice Online!

Trump’s FCC is planning to roll back net neutrality rules — with the vote to kill open internet protections expected on December 14.

Without net neutrality:

  • Big internet providers like Comcast and Verizon will be able to block online content, slow down websites, and charge fees to control what all Americans see and do online
  • As a result, startups, independent voices, and movements that can’t afford to pay for fast lanes will be silenced on the internet — and all of us will lack the freedom the internet was build on.

It’s now up to Congress! Congress should force FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to stop his plan to end net neutrality rules now, before the FCC votes it through in mid-December. The only way Congress will act is if they hear the call to protect the open internet NOW.

What to Do?

We need to drive as many calls to Congress and FCC as possible before the December 14 vote to stop it from happening. We’ve already driven 500,000 calls since November 21, over 10x as many than in the entire month of October, and still counting! Here’s how to help:

  • Direct as much traffic as possible now to www.battleforthenet.com or ACLU’s call tool https://www.aclu.org/issues/free-speech/dont-dismantle-net-neutrality.
  • Send people directly to 202-759-7766. This will connect the caller to our Battle for the Net call tool which includes a suggested net neutrality script.
  • Use the template social media posts, emails, graphics, and website modals below.
  • On December 14: Join hundreds of activists, musicians, lawmakers, former FCC commissioners, and others from around the country at the FCC to protest the repeal of  net neutrality. More details and register here.
More on #NetNeutrality

In 2015, the FCC made sure that companies couldn’t stop our voices from being heard online by passing the Open Internet Order. This made sure big internet companies like Comcast and Verizon had to treat internet service like a utility — just like phones or electricity — and couldn’t charge more for fast lanes or slow down websites.

NOW, Trump’s FCC is trying to roll back these protections, and end the internet as we know it. (A brief analysis of the FCC’s plan here). Now is the time to fight, forcing the FCC and Congress to feel enough pressure that we stop this rollback.

Sample Tweets and Facebook Posts

  • While you’re eating turkey and pie, the FCC is planning to end #netneutrality. Tell Congress to protect the free and open internet: www.battleforthenet.com
  • The FCC is planning to announce a vote to end #netneutrality just before Thanksgiving. Tell Congress to stop them: www.battleforthenet.com
  • The FCC is getting ready to vote on its plan to end #netneutrality on 12/14. Tell your representatives in Congress to save it: www.battleforthenet.com
  • Planning to shop from your couch this holiday season? The FCC is planning a vote to make that harder. Tell them to protect #netneutrality: www.battleforthenet.com
  • The FCC wants to allow big companies to control what you see and do online. Tell Congress to stop them and to protect the open internet. www.battleforthenet.com
  • ALERT: #Netneutrality is in danger. The FCC is expected to vote to kill the rules in December. But if we flood Congress with phone calls right now, we can stop the vote! battleforthenet.com
  • Trump’s FCC wants to allow Internet providers to block apps, slow websites to a crawl, and charge extra fees online. Call your members of Congress now to stop this: battleforthenet.com
  • Call Congress now to stop Trump’s FCC from announcing it’s plan to kill #netneutrality. Enemies of the open Internet want to control what information is available to us and charge us more to access content online. Only we can stop them, battleforthenet.com  

Emails for Your Members

More Resources

Other links for more on net neutrality:

Iris Rodriguez is a Xicana digital strategist, multimedia producer, author, musical artist, and poet from San Antonio, Texas. Her digital works address environmental racism/justice, family detention, decolonization, cultural arts, guerrilla media, feminism, and public archives. She is the founder of Xica Media and author of Digital Resistance 101: A Toolkit for Social Justice and Autonomy for communities in crisis.

Note: Featured image collage includes images by Mayahuel Garza, Greg Harmon, and Digital Resistance 101.

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