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Center for Media Justice

While FCC Makes Net Neutrality Repeal Official, Civil Rights Leaders Gear Up to Block It

Contact: Turner Wilman, Turner@mediajustice.org 510-698-3800 x410

February 21, 2018


Washington DC -- Civil and human rights activists are angry that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has finally published its rules on the federal register, officially revoking popular and widely supported net neutrality protections. 60 days after publication, internet service providers will be able to block or throttle access to websites or charge websites a fee to reach users at faster speeds. Publishing the FCC’s rules in the federal register will officially begin a countdown of 60 legislative days to gather a majority in the House and the Senate to force a vote for a resolution of disapproval that could reverse the order.


21st century civil rights activist Erin Shields has responded vehemently, promising to defend the digital voice of communities of color and other underrepresented groups by challenging the repeal in court, and urging all members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus to endorse a resolution reversing the FCC’s order.


“Communities of color, people with disabilities, rural communities, and those living on low incomes stand to lose the most from a net neutrality repeal. We need real leaders in Washington D.C. that are willing to stand up for our digital civil rights,” said Shields. “Just because these rules have been filed doesn’t make this fight done. Congress can still fix the FCC’s bad decision by passing a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval. The clock is ticking, the time for action is now.”


Erin works with the Center for Media Justice, a national racial justice center for media and digital rights, and home of the Media Action Grassroots Network. She, along with hundreds of other civil and human rights activists in the network, say they will continue to organize and urge every member of Congress, particularly members of the Tri Caucus, declare public support for the congressional resolution.


Malkia Devich-Cyril, co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Media Justice echoed the commitment to protect unheard voices. “Between the courts and a congressional resolution, we believe we have a very strong strategy to reinstate the net neutrality rules that protect us all. Every voice deserves to be heard, and the voices that have been discounted, pushed aside, ignored and criminalized -- those voices need even greater protection, now more than ever. For them, we’ll keep fighting. For them, we will win.”

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Launched in 2009, the Center for Media Justice is a national racial justice center for media and digital rights based in Oakland, California.


The Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) is a project of the Center for Media Justice and the largest local-to-local media democracy network in the United States.