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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” – Paulo Freire, Educator


Here's the message we sent to our members. After you've read it, please add your voice.

A court decision just gave AT&T and Verizon control of the Internet — and that spells bad news for our communities.Protect net neutrality!

Tell the FCC to guarantee a free and open Internet today!

Dear Friend,

Imagine a world in which access to your favorite websites and apps is determined by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) — a world in which AT&T, Verizon, or Comcast can slow or even block online content and services they don’t like while speeding up access to those they favor.

Does this sound like a nightmare? Well, wake up — that’s the world we now live in ever since a federal court struck down "net neutrality," the rules that guarantee a free and open Internet.

The thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could nullify the court decision by simply changing the way they classify Internet service. It’s a simple fix, but you can bet that AT&T, Verizon, and others will be fighting tooth and nail to make sure that doesn’t happen.

That’s why it’s so important that you speak out now: if enough of us call on the FCC to act, we can pressure their new leader Tom Wheeler to do what’s best for the public — not for corporate profits.

Tell the FCC to reclassify broadband Internet and start enforcing net neutrality rules. We’ll deliver your petitions to the FCC on Thursday!

Net neutrality is the doctrine that all data that flows over the Internet ought to be treated the same. It means that people should be able to access your personal blog or your new online business just as easily as they access the websites of the wealthiest businesses. Net neutrality is the reason the Internet is so diverse and powerful. Anyone with a good idea can find their audience online, regardless of whether there's money to be made from it.

This simple idea is what allowed the Presente.org community to grow and thrive online — thanks to the low cost of starting up online, we were able to share our messages with Latino communities and our allies of every race and ethnicity. A free and open Internet helped us take down Lou Dobbs and protest onerous anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and beyond.

But broadband providers like Comcast and AT&T want to reap even bigger profits by speeding up access to websites and apps that can afford to access the fast lane while slowing down or even blocking access to those that can’t afford to pay. In that environment, Presente could never have even gotten off the ground.

Even worse, without net neutrality you can kiss free speech goodbye — broadband companies are now free to discriminate against websites and apps with political or social messages they disagree with. The Internet could become more like newspapers or radio, where the ISPs consider themselves publishers who get to control what content shows up on their networks.

Luckily, every dark cloud has a silver lining: in this case it’s that the appeals court didn’t strike down net neutrality — it only struck down the FCC’s ability to enforce the rule. By reclassifying broadband so that it’s in the same category as telephone service, the FCC could once again ensure a free and open Internet for everyone.

The future of the Internet is at stake — that’s why we’ll be joining our friends at Free Press, ColorOfChange, CREDO Action, and others in delivering your petitions to the FCC on Thursday. It’s crucial that you speak out today.

Tell the FCC to use its authority to restore Net Neutrality to protect our community from Internet discrimination!

Thanks and ¡adelante!
Arturo, Roberto, Jesús, Erick, Erica ,Refugio and the rest of the Presente.org Team

P.S. Help guide our work in the new year. Take our short survey to let us know what issues you think we should work on in 2014.