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Friday, April 25, 2014

  • Internet For the 1 Percent: New FCC Rules Strike Down Net Neutrality, Opening Fast Lanes for Fees

    Net-neutrality

    Federal regulators have unveiled new rules that would effectively abandon net neutrality, the concept of a free and open Internet. The proposal from the Federal Communications Commission would allow Internet providers like Verizon or Comcast to charge media companies like Netflix or Amazon extra fees in order to receive preferential treatment, such as faster speeds for their content. If the new rules are voted on next month, the FCC will begin accepting public comments and issue final regulations by the end of summer. “What we’re really seeing here is the transformation of the Internet where the 1 percent get the fast lanes, and the 99 percent get the slow lanes,” says Michael Copps, retired FCC Commissioner. “If we let that happen, we have really undercut the potential of this transformative technology. This has to be stopped.” We are also joined by Astra Taylor, author of the new book, “The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age."

  • "Utopian Potential of the Internet": Astra Taylor on How to Take Back Power & Culture in Digital Age

    Astrataylor

    We are joined by author and activist Astra Taylor, whose new book, "The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age," argues net neutrality is just the beginning of ensuring equal access and representation online. "The utopian potential of the net is real," Taylor notes. "The problem is the underlying economic conditions haven’t changed. The same old business imperatives, the same old incentives that shaped the old model and made it so problematic are still with us. The Internet might have disrupted investigative journalism, but it didn’t disrupt advertising."

  • Protesting the 1964 World’s Fair: Activists Recall Effort to Highlight Civil Rights, Labor Struggles

    Fair

    On the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, which drew 51 million visitors over the span of two years, we look at the untold history of massive protests highlighting racial and economic inequality — and to demand equitable hiring practices at the international event. "We got 700 people from around the country to come in, to sit in at pavilions, to say we want the passage of the civil rights bill, and minorities visibly working at the World’s Fair," says Velma Hill, longtime civil and labor rights activist. "Because this world is not a white world. It is a white world, and a brown world, and a black world." She and her husband, Norman, were part of the Congress of Racial Equality, which led the demonstrations. "We thought it important that [they] understand that there could not be a peaceable gathering without economic justice, without equitable representation," Norman says. He went on to work with the AFL-CIO before becoming president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. Velma went on to work as assistant to the president of the United Federation of Teachers. They are now writing a memoir about love and activism called "Climbing Up the Rough Side of the Mountain."