WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The online day of action for net neutrality may have been lackluster compared to earlier online protests (although more than 100,000 websites, Internet users and organizations are said to have participated), but Democratic Congressmen were determined to rally support for open Internet rules at a press conference outside the Capitol building on Wednesday.
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) led the event, which also brought out Senators including Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Al Franken (D-MN); Representatives including Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill) and Ann Eshoo (D-CA); as well as Internet groups including Free Press and Fight for the Future.
Markey called the net neutrality protest "the beginning of an historic fight," and with his colleagues promised not to let up on efforts to keep Open Internet rules and the classification of ISPs as Title II common carriers intact.
Signs were a big part of the event. Some protesters went big (see above), while some were more creative in their efforts (see below).
There were several lively calls to action, with Senator Wyden pointing out that net neutrality advocates "are defending what we won once," a reference to the passage of the Open Internet Order in 2015. Numerous speakers also categorized the fight for net neutrality as a first amendment issue, and a major issue for small businesses.
Taking the prize for enthusiasm, however, was Senator Franken, who revved up the crowd with both fiery language and effusive gesturing despite the hot Washington DC sun. Franken accused Internet service providers of falsely claiming that the Open Internet Order has put a chill on network investment saying that "couldn't be more untrue," and "It's so bogus, it's just insulting."
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