Net Neutrality advocates plan protests for December 7 at Verizon stores

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FCC releases final draft of ‘Restoring Internet Freedom,’ which would not do that

On December 14, the FCC will vote on whether or not to roll back Obama-era policies protecting a free and open internet. In fact, during yesterday’s announcement of the upcoming vote, the FCC neglected to mention the historic 22 million comments on the issue, the majority of which were opposed to its rollback.

In response, protests are being held on December 7 at Verizon retail stores across the country. The protests were organized by Demand Progress, Fight For The Future, and FreePress Action Fund.

Here’s what the protest organizers have to say on their event page:

Ajit Pai is clearly still working for Verizon, not the public. But he still has to answer to Congress. So we’re calling on our lawmakers to do their job overseeing the FCC and speak out against Ajit Pai’s plan to gut Title II net neutrality protections and give Verizon and other giant ISPs everything on their holiday wishlist.

If you need a quick refresher on Net Neutrality, check out John Oliver’s explainer below or go in-depth with this post from TechCrunch writer Devin Coldewey.

The long story short on Net Neutrality is that it protects consumers and the internet from ISPs who might want to create internet ‘fast lanes’ for content or websites that they prefer or that pay them more.

So why protest at Verizon stores?

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai used to work for Verizon as associate general counsel before landing at the Federal Communications Commission. Verizon has also been a staunch opponent to Net Neutrality, lobbying for a roll-back and spending millions in lawsuits to ditch Title II.

Editor’s Notes: Verizon is the parent company of Oath, which is the parent company to TechCrunch.