Chicago Protest

Posted on May 19, 2006 - 11:31am.

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we are posting these as we receive them - but please check the local links for updates

Join a Chicago Media Action Protest

The Event:"AT&T: Bringing Us To Tiers"

The Place:Outside the AT&T / SBC building, at the intersection of Congress Parkway and South Federal Street in downtown Chicago (just a block south of the Library / State and Van Buren CTA station, immediately west of the Harold Washington Library Center)

Date/Time: Wednesday, May 24, 4pm - 6pm

AT&T and other phone companies are presently working hard to establish a "tiered Internet", where websites and Internet-based video and audio would go much faster for persons and corporations able to pay higher fees, and much slower or not at all for everyone else.

If you think this is like the Internet we have already, think again. Right now, you have a substantial measure of control of what you see on the Internet and how fast it comes to you. But you would lose that control of speed and access to content under a tiered Internet.

One key to this forced separate-and-unequal Internet is to destroy the Internet's first amendment -- the guarantee of non-discrimination of content on the Internet, or what some call "network neutrality".

A 2005 Supreme Court decision opened the door to the destruction of network neutrality, and a fight in Congress is raging now between the phone companies (and their allies in Congress) and the growing number of Internet freedom advocates (across the political spectrum, from all walks of life) over the future of the Internet.

And that's not all. Related legislation under consideration RIGHT NOW in Congress also threatens to eliminate community access television and all local control over telephone and cable TV franchising, and would likely escalate discriminatory redlining by phone and cable corporations against low-income households and communities. Plus, the fight also encompasses a growing list of scandals involving corporate and government corruption, dangerous mergers, and complicity with illegal NSA domestic spying.

If you use the Internet in any way, or if you care about local control and democracy, this fight affects you.

Start affecting it back.

Chicago Media Action, along with organizers in Boston and New York City (and a number of other cities), are planning a National Day of Media Outrage. As part of this national day of action, CMA will stage a protest and outreach effort:

We encourage you to take part, and learn more (while you still can) at these websites:

Chicago Media Action

You can address questions about the event to Chicago Media Action (email:; call toll free: 1-866-260-7198). Again, we encourage you to attend and spread the word about this event and these issues, and contact your elected officials - particularly U.S. Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL).

After all, it's your Internet. And it's your media. For now.

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