Announcement: CCDBR is Holding a Team Internet-Aligned Demonstration for Net Neutrality

Posted on May 8, 2018

Although the struggle for civil liberties is never truly and permanently at an end, the emergence of the internet as a fact of 21st century existence opens up a new front in the battle for fundamental freedoms, most prominently those of free expression under the First Amendment. With the FCC’s dismantling of net neutrality protections, internet service providers, empowered by their monopolies or near-monopolies in markets encompassing tens of millions of American citizens, have the unprecedented purview to monitor, route, and (if they so choose) silence the various forms of speech that their networks carry. In fact, as the courts have repeatedly ruled, net neutrality policy set down and faithfully enforced by the FCC is the only guarantee against such discriminatory behavior by ISPs. 

In light of this grave threat to constitutional rights that the FCC’s attack on internet freedom embodies, the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights is determined to stand against it. On Wednesday, May 9, we will hold a demonstration in support of net neutrality in Chicago’s Federal Plaza. In conjunction with our local allies, and the national coalition rallying under the banner of Team Internet, our demonstration seeks to embolden the principled stance of Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Tammy Duckworth in supporting Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn the “Restoring Internet Freedom” FCC order adopted in December 2017, and to urge Illinois members of the US House of Representatives to adopt this measure in their chamber. 

We also call on net neutrality advocates in Illinois to contact Senator Durbin (at 312-353-4952 for his Chicago office, or 202-224-2152 for his Washington office) and Senator Duckworth (at 312-886-3506 for her Chicago office, or 202-224-2854 for her Washington office) to voice encouragement for their defense of internet freedom, and to push Illinois representatives in the House, whose office numbers can be found in the Directory of Representatives, to approve a Congressional Review Act motion. 

The right of citizens to free expression is paramount to the functioning of democracy, and the internet’s omnipresence in modern life makes the unfettered exercise of such rights online an indispensable liberty. As such, we pledge to stand firm in its defense, and bolster our allies across the country, through this and whatever subsequent measures become necessary for the fight to be won.