TAKE OVER THE MALL
TAKE BACK THE INTERNET
What? Rally to stop the FCC and Hackathon to make sure this never happens again.
When? Every day at 5pm, leading up to the December 14th vote to gut net neutrality.
Why? Because we’re *really* tired of asking the FCC to stop.
Where? The food court of your local mall.
MAKE THE INTERNET UNSTOPPABLE
Despite overwhelming and repeated public outcry, the FCC just keeps trying to repeal its own net neutrality rules, which would give for-profit ISPs an unacceptable level of control over our access to information. We’re tired of asking the FCC to stop, it’s time we stopped asking. The Internet is too important to our future to be left in the hands of government agencies or for-profit corporations.
If we hope to rise to meet the compounding crises of our time, we need an internet that cannot be controlled, slowed, tiered, or otherwise manipulated for political or financial gain. It’s possible and if we don’t do it NOW it will be much harder to do in the future.
In the 12 days leading up to the FCC’s DECEMBER 14th vote to gut net neutrality, gather in the food court of your local mall to help decide the future of the internet. Hack on open-source code. Make easy-to-follow guides for how to start a not-for-profit ISP. Teach people how to create and use a VPN, and why they should. Create tools and educational media that make it as easy as possible for people to actively bypass and resist internet censorship. Teach people how build mesh networks, or conspire to build one. Do whatever you can think of- the best you can come up with is good enough to start.
The important thing is that we start, NOW.
We’re going to lose the internet in 3 weeks unless something drastic and unprecidented happens, so let’s make something drastic and unprecidented happen.
This is a swarm mobilization. A swarm is not a political movement. A swarm does not have centralized leadership. A swarm is an open, decentralized mobilization of people doing whatever they can to acheive a common goal. The goal of this swarm is to ensure that an open, unrestricted, and global internet is as acccessible as possible to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. We believe that people should have the means to share information freely with the global community and the tools to actively bypass any institution that would seek to limit their access to information. If you share that goal, you are already part of the swarm and can do anything you like to help us all acheive it. There are just a few basic ground-rules for working as part of a swarm:
Do whatever you think helps
Don’t ask for permission, you don’t need it. Don’t wait. Do it now. If you’ve got an idea but aren’t sure if you should do it, ask 3 of your friends If they think its a good idea. If the answer is yes, do it. Ask them to help you.
FIGHT bad ideas with better Ideas
If you see someone doing something that you don’t think is helping, do something you think is better. It’s more efficient than arguing about what you think other people SHOULD do, and you might be wrong anyway.
Speak for yourself
We are complex people with complex and diverse motivations for supporting an open internet. What’s important is that we all do. Speaking honestly and only for yourself is the best way to speak for the whole group.
This is a peaceful Gathering
We are here to fix the internet, not to break windows.
We respect the need for a ‘Diversity of Tactics’. This particular tactic happens to be explicitly peaceful. Please respect that.
All the computers connected to the internet follow a shared set of rules, which allows them to share information quickly and efficiently. This is called the Internet Protocol, and it’s what makes the internet work.
In order to share information with each other and maximize the collective impact of this mobilization, we’re going to use a simple protocol using twitter hashtags. You don’t have to do this (because you don’t have to do any of this) but Twitter is global, public, and easy to search by hashtags, so it will be much easier to communicate with the rest of the swarm if you do.
Starting a local swarm
The first thing you will need to do is get as many people as you can together at your local mall. The recommended time for the first mobilization is 5pm (your time) Saturday, December 2nd, but it’s up to you when and how you organize. It’s recommended that you start small by reaching out to your friends and allies first, the people you already know and trust, and then working out from there once you’ve got a core a few people to work with. When you’re ready, make a tweet about it with this set of 3 hashtags at the end:
#12daysoffccthis #[ZIP+your zipcode] #[the name of your local mall]
This lets everyone in the swarm know 3 things- That you are interested in participating in a local swarm action, where you are in the country, and what mall they can find you at if they are nearby. It’s important to use Twitter for this, because Facebook posts aren’t nearly as visible or public. Organize with your friends on Facebook, start a local facebook event if you want, but use Twitter to communicate with the swarm.
Once you’ve built a core of a few people who want to do this with, pretty soon you will want to let people know what you intend to do once you’re there, what you want to talk about, where to find you, when, and how they can get involved, so that you’re not all just standing around. So in addition to the 3 tags above, which you should use in all your tweets, you can add the following hashtags to build an open decentralized schedule of talks that anyone can post to, as well as create directory of ideas, plans, projects, resources, and challenges that the whole swarm can see and work on collectively. We’re going to use twitter as a giant information radiator and see what we can come up with.
Use the hashtag #Schedule
If you want to schedule a meetup, discussion, hack-session, training, or talk. Include the time, date, description, and where to find you.
Use the hashtag #Project
If you want to let people know about an action you have already taken or are currently taking, so they can follow you as the project evolves.
Use the hashtag #CHALLENGE
If there is a specific problem you think needs attention and you want people to help you solve it. Define the problem as clearly as you can.
Use the hashtag #Plan
If you have come up with a detailed, step by step plan that makes it easy for other people to do something. Describe the plan and include a link.
Use the hashtag #POSSIBILITY
If you think of some action that might have a big payoff, but needs more thought or attention before it’s ready to become a #project.
Use the hashtag #Pitch
If there is an action that you are ready to take but there are specific things you need to do it. List those things as specifically as possible.
Or just make up your own hashtags and start using them.
let’s get started.
The Recommended First Mobilization Is
Saturday, December 2nd, 4pm @ Your local mall.
This is static webpage, and you just read all of it. You know everything you need to make this happen wherever you are. If you think it’s worth doing, you should do it. Ask your friends for help. We’re going to lose the internet in 3 weeks unless something drastic and unprecidented happens, so let’s make something drastic and unprecidented happen. Get creative. Do what ever you think will help. Don’t worry if you don’t know much about ISPs or programming- sometimes the best way to get people to help you do something hard is to just start doing it wrong in front of them. If you don’t have a twitter account, get one, it’s easy to do and it’s important that we have a public forum to find and talk to each other. Tweet about doing this at your local mall and see who responds. Don’t forget the hashtags. Make a local FB event if you think it will help. It only takes a few people to have a productive meetup anyway, so send this to the friends you know are ready to fight (are already fighting) for the future of the internet and see if you can get a small group of people that you already know together at your local mall around 4pm on December 2nd. Bonus points if you can make some kind of positive, visible, interesting-but-not-too-disruptive disruption that gets your story picked up by the local media. If you can’t get picked up by local media at first, which you probably won’t, start small and make your own media, share it on twitter, and try to keep growing every day until what’s happening can’t be ignored. If you’ve made it all the way down here, you’re probably one of those damn trouble-maker activist-organizer types, and you probably understand that the majority of people won’t believe that something like this is possible until it’s already happening. You probably also understand that it often takes a few days of sustained disruption of business-as-usual before you start to get people’s attention, but once you do, decentralized actions like these can spread very, very rapidly. Let’s see if we can get to that tipping point. We have nothing to lose but the internet.