A coalition of activists run by someone who once defended an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist are planning a day of protest the day net neutrality dies.
In a last-ditch effort to garner more support from House members to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) repeal of the regulation in December, the activists plan on protesting by using social media, writing letters to and calling congressmen, hosting events, in-person protests, and canvassing.
“[O]n June 11th, take whatever corner of the Internet that you control, whether it’s a major platform or a personal instagram account, and harness its reach to pressure Congress,” the coalition wrote in a call-to-action.
Fight for the Future — which is a part of a larger coalition of liberal organizations that support net neutrality called Battle for the Net — is run by campaign director Evan Greer. He spent three years defending Tarek Mehanna, who was convicted of aiding al-Qaeda.
Greer was the media strategy and outreach coordinator for the Tarek Mehanna Support Group, which worked to free Mehanna from prison.
Mehanna was sentenced to 17.5 years in federal prison for “Conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda, providing material support to terrorists (and conspiracy to do so), conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, conspiracy to make false statements to the FBI, and two counts of making false statements,” according to FBI records.
A Freedom of Information Act request by The Daily Caller News Foundation showed that former President Barack Obama’s FCC gave preferential treatment to liberal organizations and Fight for the Future specifically received assistance with filing and even public relations from the agency, TheDCNF reported in August.
Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), it’s possible to overturn department decisions with a majority vote in the House and Senate.
The FCC’s net neutrality regulation was instated under Obama in 2015 and forces internet companies to treat all data equally. The FCC, under Chairman Ajit Pai, repealed the rule in December 2017.
Supporters of net neutrality often argue that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate between data and that net neutrality helps guarantee free speech on the internet.
Opponents of net neutrality typically agree with the idea of net neutrality, but claim declaring the internet a public utility, like water, would prevent innovation.
Additionally, some of the largest websites on the internet have been coming under fire for restricting conservative opinions and have been enforcing dubious so-called “hate speech” policies. YouTube has blocked videos, Facebook has censored conservatives, and Amazon damaged a conservative website’s ability to earn an income.
The Senate voted 52 to 47 in favor of the CRA on May 16, which was supported by nearly entirely Democrats plus two Republicans, which were Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John Kennedy of Louisiana. (RELATED: Senate Successfully Votes To Reinstate Net Neutrality Rules, Measure Moves To The House)
The House needs 218 votes to pass the CRA and it’s currently supported by 170 members, but it’s considered a long shot considering the House is controlled by the GOP and it would need President Donald Trump’s signature — both of which are considered unlikely due to the partisan nature of the issue.
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