By Amy Frame, Digital Director, Win Without War
Today I am going to ask you to act on an issue that may not seem to have much to do with national security or fighting wars. However, we are asking you to take action to protect net neutrality because it has everything to do with how we tell our stories, organize resistance, and build a more peaceful world. Today is the Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality, a campaign to protect internet neutrality and protect the web from rule by corporate interests and big cable companies, and we need your help.
Right now, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering changing the rules about net neutrality so that cable companies and internet service providers (ISPs) can choose to prioritize some web traffic over others. What this means in short is that your cable company can decide which internet content can be delivered to you the fastest by setting up ‘fast lanes’ for those who can pay more.
But it means much, much more to those of us who use the internet to organize, resist, and work for peace. The assault against net neutrality is also an assault against those of us who rely on the internet to raise awareness, influence policy, and create bonds across borders. This is a fight for our survival. You don’t have to code, make websites, or even understand how your smartphone works to depend on net neutrality, and you don’t have to be able to do any of those things to stand up to defend it.
Net neutrality allows those who are vulnerable or without power to raise their voices. From kids using Instagram in Syria to mothers in Nigeria using Twitter to ask the world to bring back their girls, net neutrality allows equal footing with the rich and powerful to deliver those messages. Net neutrality means that good ideas get to be heard on equally to those that are simply well funded.
Most importantly, net neutrality allows us as individuals and activists to talk directly to one and other. We know that government and corporate interests don’t always reflect the will of the people, but with an equal internet we don’t have to rely on the narratives of the powerful to understand our global neighbors. Marching into perpetual war requires the dehumanization of our adversaries, but being able to communicate as individuals thwarts that dehumanization and is a powerful tool for breaking out of the cycle of endless war.
The internet has given us a unique opportunity in our history. Today we can share our stories and assist, magnify, and support each other as never before. We cannot let this gift slip through our fingers due to inaction. Please go to this page and see what you can do to help and please ask your friends to do the same.
Our resistance to militarism and violence is essential if we are to build a more peaceful world. Please act today to preserve one of best tools to achieve those goals.