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Indybay Feature
Wed Dec 13 2017 (Updated 01/02/18)
National Day of Action in Defense of Net Neutrality
Palo Alto March on Verizon Starts at Site of Censored Political Art
UPDATE: In sweeping act of deregulation, the FCC has voted to repeal Net Neutrality
Protests to save net neutrality burst upon the San Francisco Bay Area on December 7. The proposal at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to roll back Obama era rules would fundamentally change the internet by favoring carriers over internet content providers. It would allow internet service providers to establish fast and slow lanes which favor certain types of content over others.

Demonstrations on the national day of action targeted Verizon because FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is a former Verizon lawyer. In the Bay Area, protests were held in San Francisco, South San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto, and Walnut Creek with other demonstrations planned for Berkeley and Santa Clara.

In Palo Alto the Raging Grannies mobilized a crowd of over 100 in the city’s downtown Lytton Plaza. Their “March on Verizon” started in front of a symbol that has invited viewers to question the use of technology for over twelve years and is slated to be removed after a recent vote for deaccession by the city’s Public Art Commission. The Grannies and speakers said that removal of “Digital DNA," a 7-foot tall egg shaped sculpture covered with recycled circuit boards, constitutes censorship and that an FCC vote against net neutrality would allow censorship by large ISP's.

After the plaza rally, the throng marched down University Avenue stopping first at Verizon and then the AT&T retail store shouting, "Verizon, Comcast, ATT... We want net neutrality!" and passing a bullhorn for protesters to air their grievances. One speaker castigated Google and Facebook for taking a back seat on the issue. In the past, Google has flip-flopped on net neutrality, but at one time the company played a leading role in supporting internet freedom.

photo Photos: 1 | 2

See Also: Digital DNA: "I have been condemned" | Protest at Google for Net Neutrality (2010)
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