Defending Democracy with Informed Community Action in WNC

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

— Abraham Lincoln

Free Press/Media

The Free Press/Media Action Team has a vision of America as a place where citizens are informed and therefore able to engage in the process of self governance.  We want to help this country become a place where no one is afraid to speak truth to power.

Our mission is to increase public media literacy and access to information, promote journalistic integrity, and protect the constitutional right to accurate information about the world in which we live.

Our strategies include organizing and promoting educational events, organizing and attending rallies, and lobbying legislators to protect the free press.

Actions we have taken so far include the promotion of talks on the importance of the media for a healthy democracy as well as postcard and telephone campaigns urging our legislators to support free speech, truth in politics,  honest media, and an open Internet.

If you are interested in learning more, you can reach us at freepress@indivisibleavl.org.

FOCUS GROUPS

  • Defending 1st Amendment
  • Supporting Good Journalism
  • Open Internet & Social Media
  • Fake News, Propaganda, & Other BS

ACTIONS WE TAKE:

  • Creating and promoting educational opportunities within our community
  • Campaigning
  • Demonstrating

Nominee Sam Clovis – Unqualified!

Sam Clovis is not an agricultural scientist nor is he an agricultural economist nor does he appear qualified for a position that, by law, must be drawn from “among distinguished scientists with specialized training or significant experience in agricultural research, education and economics" Mr. Clovis holds a B.S. in political science, an MBA and a PhD in public administration. The post for which he is nominated has traditionally been occupied by individuals with advanced degrees in science or medicine.
Read More

VIDEO: They're Coming for Your Internet!

  • Open Internet & Social Media

This focus group works to increase public awareness about the importance of an open internet, as well as to preserve and promote public access to information. Right now, we have until August 16th to stop the FCC from axing Net Neutrality.

Current Action: After a hugely successful Internet-Wide Day Of Action To Save Net Neutrality the first comment period ended. But another begins. 

• This new period is about  “reply comments” in response to Comcast, AT&T and other internet service providers who are arguing against Net Neutrality. The deadline for these new comments is Aug. 16.

• The public can continue submitting comments about Net Neutrality until the Aug. 16 deadline — so feel free to comment again telling the Ajit Pai what you think about his plan to destroy the open internet.

• And  need to continue to put pressure on Congress so lawmakers don't try to pass any legislation that would undermine Net Neutrality under Title II. Elected officials need to know that we're still watching.

  • Comment on the FCC website. (http://fcc.us/2r5wwat - click +Express in left box)
  • Call the FCC. 888-225-5322
  • Write to FCC Chair Ajit Pai. FCC, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554
  • Email Pai - fccinfo@fcc.gov
  • Call your representatives. (http://bit.ly/2tNszIg)
  • Share our video.
  • SHARE this action with everyone you know, especially Internet/social media savvy folks, and friends with big followings.

Talking points.  

  • Keeping Net Neutrality intact has bipartisan support. “A new survey from Mozilla and IPSOS once again highlights this cap between reality and common media and policy wisdom. The survey found, unsurprisingly, that over three quarters of Americans (76%) support net neutrality. When it comes to the supposed "partisan division," the survey also found that 81% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans are in favor of it.” Link to article 
  • Axing it will stifle small business and innovation. “ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. They’d be able to block websites or content they don’t like or applications that compete with their own offerings.” Link
  • Without it big corporations will be able to censor the Internet. “They’d be able to decide who is heard and who isn’t. An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. Without Net Neutrality, how would activists be able to fight against oppression? What would happen to social movements like the Movement for Black Lives? How would the next disruptive technology, business or company emerge if Internet service providers only let incumbents succeed? Link
  • Without Net Neutrality we will all pay more to access information. “No matter who the ISPs hold up for more money, it’s all going to come back to their customers who’ll have to pay more to somebody in order to gain access to content. Hulu might cut an exclusive deal with Comcast while Netflix inked one with Verizon, meaning no one could get access to both. Hope you like whichever service it struck a deal with, because that’s all you’ll be able to legally get. Internet providers could also squeeze websites, instead of consumers directly. Verizon could start a bidding war for streaming video services, for instance. Since YouTube is owned by Google and has a lot more money than Vimeo, YouTube could pay Verizon for faster or even exclusive service. YouTube would have an effective monopoly on streaming video for Verizon companies. Link

On-going: Educate the public about this assault on the First Amendment, open access to information, and the real danger of corporations putting profit before equal access.

Defending The First Amendment

This focus group works to defend and promote the American right to free speech in a political climate where it is not just more important than ever, but more threatened than ever.

Action Plan:  President Trump is using his elected office to abridge the freedom of the press, in violation of his oath of office.  Members of Congress also have taken an oath to support the Constitution.

  • Please send postcards, make phone calls, and write emails to your elected representatives to denounce the un-American assault on our First Amendment rights.
  • Example: "Banning media from a press conference? Make DEMOCRACY great again. Speak out and defend our First Amendment Rights."

Supporting Good Journalism

This focus group works to recognize and promote journalistic integrity, and to advance the needs of a healthy free press.

Action in the works.

Fake News, Propaganda, & BS

This focus group aims to combat the spread of false information and prevent the detrimental effects that an environment full of "alternative facts" has on democracy.

Action Plan:  We need to fight the effects of the Trump Administration's disinformation campaign, both on our own psyches and on the behaviors of our legislators.

  • Write postcards and emails highlighting individual false statements made by the White House Administration and/or legislators.
  • Every time you hear or read falsehoods, write that particular quote (or a summary) on a postcard and underneath it write “THIS IS NOT NORMAL”.
  • Example: "On January 30, 2017, Kellyanne Conway stated 'Here's the fact: The No. 1 source of income into Mexico are Mexicans working here and sending the money back,' which is patently untrue.  THIS IS NOT NORMAL."