rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Heading to D.C. to show decision-makers that Internet users gon' run this town.

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

This post is from OpenMedia and does not represent the Fair Deal Coalition.

On behalf of OpenMedia and our growing international community of supporters, I have been given a fantastic opportunity to deliver the voices of everyday Internet users to people in power. As you read this, I am sitting on a plane en route to Washington, D.C., where I will meet with some of the most important decision-makers in the world on digital rights issues, including negotiators from several participating Trans-Pacific Partnership countries.

At OpenMedia, we talk a lot about “delivering voices” of citizens to decision-makers. And that’s because it’s integral to the way that we are able to help people be heard and make change in our society. Whether the issue is Big Telecom’s Internet slow lane plan, the TPP’s extreme Internet censorship, or out-of-control government spying, we make sure your voice gets as close to decision-makers as possible.

So, to give you a sense of what we’re up to this time around, let’s quickly run through my itinerary. My day kicks off bright and early with an important rally to save the Internet outside the FCC’s main headquarters. Our friends at Free Press, Popular Resistance, Fight for the Future and dozens of other groups are leading a huge rally outside their final meeting of 2014, to let the FCC know we need the strongest pro-Internet rules possible as soon as possible. If you’re in the area, be sure to join us at 9AM!

Then, over the next two days, I’ll be meeting with TPP negotiators from a range of participating countries, including Australia, Brunei, Japan, New Zealand and the United States. In my meetings, I will make sure they understand the priorities of Internet users everywhere by hand-delivering the crowdsourced recommendations outlined in the Our Digital Future report, and making a strong call for greater transparency in the TPP’s secretive and anti-democratic process.

This call is especially important as President Obama says he’s even willing to defy his party to push this agreement through. In response, OpenMedia supporter Dean Wilkins says:

"I give President Obama props for being intelligent and caring, but I DO NOT understand his support for TPP. How can he not see the dangers to life as we know it in the Americas in many of the provisions? Why so much secrecy? What's the rush?"

I’ll also be meeting with representatives from the U.S. Senate Finance Committee -- quite possibly the most powerful committee in Congress -- to ensure that they understand the negative impact that fast-tracking the TPP’s extreme Internet censorship plan could have on Internet users everywhere, and what copyright priorities are for artists, entrepreneurs and innovators around the world.

Then, after I’ve finished up with all my meetings, I’m off to RootsCamp to learn and share stories with people from around the world leading the fight for our right to communicate openly and freely online. It’s gonna be quite the tour!

Some of my friends and family have asked me, "So when you get in the room with these people, what are you going to say?" And, after a bit of thinking, I realized that my answer is pretty straightforward: Over 300,000 people from around the world took part in producing our crowdsourced plan -- the Our Digital Future report. In contrast, the decision-makers I’m meeting with over the next couple days have overwhelmingly heard from big media lobbyists who want to increase their control over what we say and do online.

So, in light of this, my message is pretty simple: right now, we’re the ones representing real people and you aren’t. So listen up. And together, you, me and our gigantic community of digital rights advocates from around the world are gonna show these decision-makers that we ‘gon run this town.

Oh, and I’ll be sure to let you know how it went as soon as I’m back in my usual time zone.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.