Congressman John Conyers / US House of Representatives – 2006-05-28 09:01:39
Netroots Helps Ensure Net Neutrality Victory
Congressman John Conyers / US House of Representatives
(May 26, 2006 ) — A very important victory was won today for the rights of internet consumers. The Judiciary Committee today approved a bill, the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act, to preserve net neutrality. This bipartisan bill would prevent corporate executives from determining what content you are allowed to view on the internet.
Some companies that provide the lines through which internet traffic travels are seeking the ability to discriminate against certain content providers, charging higher rates and providing different levels of service. Having this ability to charge different rates to different types of content providers would allow the entities that control 98 per cent of internet traffic to restrict your access to certain competing sites wherever it chose.
This bill was a big challenge to some very powerful lobbies on Capitol Hill, but a massive grassroots operation coordinated by MyDD.com and MoveOn.org helped put enough pressure on Judiciary lawmakers to ensure a comfortable victory. Members of Congress heard from plenty of their constituents about the importance of this bill and not one Democrat voted against it.
While this was a critical success, we still have more to do. This bill may or may not come to a vote on the house floor. It may take similar efforts from the netroots to be ultimately successful on this issue.
© Copyright John Conyers
Net Neutrality Bill Crosses House Hurdle
Cable, Telco Industries Strongly Opposed
A proposal that would ban broadband providers from favoring one Web site over another moved closer to becoming law Thursday after the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation from committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the committee’s ranking minority member.
Comment #2: Rusty said on 5/26/06 @ 4:32am ET.
Congratulations John Conyers, and thank you for leading the fight to protect internet consumer rights.
When the netroots focus on an issue, we can make a difference. But we are constantly pulled in so many different directions by the dire need to address a multitude of urgent issues that we are rarely as effective as we could be.
There are many great netroots organizations like MoveOn.org, MyDD.com, PFAW, PEN, Code Pink, and others, but they often have different priorities and rarely if ever work together to coordinate a united netroots campaign to achieve a specific objective.
Instead of seeking ways to forge all progressive activists into a unified movement, they seem at times to be competing with one another for the support and loyalty of progressive activists.
Despite this diffusion of focus and efforts, the netroots have had an impact over the past year, particularly in the Paul Hackett race in Ohio, the Alito fight, and on Internet neutrality.
But we could have won the Hackett race, could have won the Alito fight, and could have shut down The Wiretapper’s confirmation if we had been more unified, energized, and focused.
Instead, we have Jean Schmidt in Congress, Alito on the Supreme Court for life, and Hayden about to take over the CIA. Another killer hurricane season is imminent, air strikes on Iran could be unleashed within weeks, and the corporate media is actively smearing progressive Democrats as the corrupt GOP/media establishment gear up for what will be a sickening midterm election spectacle of slander and demonizing unprecedented in American political history.
These enemies of our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and our civil liberties are united, focused, and determined to destroy us.
We must be just as united, focused, and determined.
But this unity, focus, and determination cannot be achieved unless progressive organizations like MoveOn.org, MyDD.com, PFAW, PEN, and Code Pink coordinate their efforts with leading progressive blogs like Daily Kos, America Blog, Crooks and Liars, Firedoglake, Brad Blog, HuffPo, and others.
Empowered as never before by netroots unity and coordination on the Internet, and energized by dedicated progressive leaders like Howard Dean, John Conyers Jr, and Russ Feingold, we could erase this criminal Congress from existence in November and replace it with a REAL CONGRESS of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Only then will we be able to destroy the Bush regime and begin to restore our pride and dignity as a nation. Only then will we be able to heal the wounds inflicted on America and the world by these criminals.
Can you hear me, Moveon.org and PFAW and Code Pink? Can you hear me, Kos and HuffPo and AmericaBlog and Firedoglake? Let’s give this netroots unity and focus a test run, shall we?
For the next two weeks, the progressive blogospere should unite in support of Francine Busby, whose running a courageous campaign in CA 50. A Busby victory in this solid Republican district would drive a stake through the heart of the GOP.
If Rove gets indicted, cover it. If Cheney shoots Hillary in the face, cover it. But the prevailing message across the entire progressive blogosphere for the next two weeks should be: ELECT FRANCINE BUSBY!
United we stand, divided we fall.
I’d rather stand than fall, so how about a little unity for a change, netroots webmasters? Writing books and appearing on TV is fine, but if you could actually communicate with each other regularly and coordinate progressive activism before we’re all in detention camps, I’d really appreciate it.