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Indybay Feature
Wed Sep 20 2017 (Updated 09/21/17)
FCC Chair's Meeting with Tech Execs Greeted with Protest
Demonstrators in San Francisco Say Net Neutrality Is a Racial Justice Issue
Despite the fact that he froze services to low-income internet users soon after taking office, Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai came to San Francisco to talk to tech executives about bridging the digital divide for underserved communities. Pai was named by President Trump as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in January. When he visited San Francisco on September 12, protesters demonstrated at the site of the meeting in the city's financial district, saying net neutrality is a racial justice issue.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) along with other organizations pulled together the rally to protest Chairman Pai's meeting. About 100 people demonstrated outside the building; a few protesters tried to enter the building to deliver a three-foot tall coffee mug designed to look like an oversized mug parodied on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”, a mug that had been filled with public comments in support of net neutrality. Eventually one of the event organizers came outside and took comments on behalf of the FCC Chair.

Shahid Buttar, Director of Grassroots Advocacy at EFF, spoke at the rally inviting everyone who uses the Internet to raise their voice in defense of light touch regulations that have preserved a level playing field online. Sentiments in signs raised high read, "Traffic throttling, Site Blocking, New Fees? NO THANKS!" and "Net Neutrality is a Racial Justice Issue", amongst others.

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