Forces are amassing for mass net-neutrality protests Thursday (Dec. 7), one week out from the planned Dec. 14 vote on FCC chair Ajit Pai's order eliminating regulations against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.
That is also the day that the Federal Communications Bar Association will host a roast of Pai, which will likely see protests as well, if past is prologue -- former FCC chair Tom Wheeler took some heat at a chair's dinner before he decided to propose Title II-based rules.
More than 600 protests are planned at Verizon stores and congressional offices across the country, Evan Greer of protest organizer Fight for the Future said.
Additionally, more than 150 musicians, artists, actors and comedians have signed a letter to Congress endorsing the protests; they include Alyssa Milano, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Against Me!, Graham Nash, Amanda Palmer, Michael Stipe, Downtown Boys, Talib Kweli and Wil Wheaton.
"We support the people from across the political spectrum protesting across the country on Dec. 7, and we echo their call for our members of Congress to do their jobs and take action to stop the FCC vote that’s planned for Dec. 14," the letter read.
Hill Democrats have been trying to delay the vote, invoking fake comments in the net-neutrality docket and suggesting, like Russian interference in the presidential election, it needs more investigating, and unlike the case with the election, before any vote is taken.
Pai signaled this week the vote would proceed as planned, and the item would be adopted. He said he is confident he has two other Republican votes, while Democrats will be vociferously in opposition.
He also said in an op ed Wednesday (Dec. 6) that those suggesting his reg rollback would be the end of the internet were trying to "whip Americans into a frenzy by making outlandish claims" and "silly accusations."