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For Immediate Release: Across the Nation, Media Justice Advocates Applaud Senate’s Vote in Favor of Net Neutrality

Contact: Brandi Collins Center for Media Justice 510.698.3800 x409 brandi@centerformediajustice.org

November 10, 2011– The Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) is pleased the Senate voted (46-52) to reject a resolution (S.J. Res. 6) to repeal the net neutrality rules put in place earlier this year by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). DeAnne Cuellar, Executive Director of the Media Justice League calls the partisan resolution “a sneak attack on Internet freedoms sponsored by Sen. Kay Hutchison [R-TX], and spearheaded by industry-funded members of Congress.”  If passed, the resolution, would’ve handed corporations like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon unrestricted power and control over the Internet. 

“As evidenced by the close vote, there is much work to be done across the country to convince our elected officials that we do not need corporate gatekeepers deciding which websites will and will not work,” said Andrea Quijada, Executive Director of the Media Literacy Project in New Mexico. “Small businesses deserve the right to market their goods and services at the same speed and reach as any multi-national corporation. Small businesses and large corporations use the same interstate highways and abide by the same motor vehicle laws to get their goods to and from their places of business. The information highway should be no different.”

“Today’s vote is an important recognition of the role the Internet performs in people’s daily lives. It is no longer a luxury; it is a utility that must be regulated accordingly,” said Steven Renderos, Media Justice Program Director at Main Street Project in Minnesota.  An open Internet is critical to America’s economic growth and to the ability of people – especially communities of color, rural Americans and struggling workers – to access the education and employment opportunities necessary to rebuild and strengthen our communities and support our families.

“We’re extremely pleased that the Senate has voted to allow the FCC to carry out it’s work – which is to put people before profits and keep the Internet open and free from discrimination,” said amalia deloney, Media Policy Field Director for the Center for Media Justice.  “Maintaining an open Internet ensures that our communities have access to the full creative potential of this important communications system and more importantly, allows us to use this important tool to organize around critical justice issues and strengthen the economic well being of our families and communities.”

Without FCC guidelines in place, giant conglomerates can limit access and increase prices so high that independent voices and diverse perspectives are blocked out. Members of rural, Native, low income and ethnically diverse communities will have even more challenges starting businesses and sharing content that is relevant to their own communities. Open Internet rules create the opportunity for communities of color to have fair access to this essential tool.  

MAG-Net moves forward in our fight for media justice and net neutrality.  We will continue to work with Congress and the Federal Communications Commission as they continue efforts to preserve Internet freedom for all the voices of our country. For more information about MAG-Net and our work, please visit www.mag-net.org or call Betty Yu, National Organizer, at 510-698-3800 x404. 

The Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) is a local-to-local advocacy network of grassroots community organizations working together for media change to end poverty, eliminate racism, and ensure human rights.  With over 100 member groups nationwide, regional chapters, an online action network, a media justice learning community, and collaborative campaigns- MAG-Net is advancing an exciting new vision for media justice.