A Message to Verizon: Libera el Aire!

Remember those weird Verizon ads that seemed to empower young women with statements like “air does not transmit the opinions of a man faster than those of a woman”? Really, they were co-opting feminism to sell phones from a company that is fighting against net neutrality—the idea that people and organizations should be charged more for access or speedier connection to certain sites and services instead of treating all access as equal—something many of us take for granted right now.

The Albuquerque-based New Mexico Media Literacy Project made a response video to the ads that does more than parody, it sends a strong message of its own about net neutrality and free Internet: “Latinos aren’t buying what Verizon is selling. Verizon says ‘Rule the Air,’ but Latinos say ‘Libera el Aire!’”

Transcript (as spoken by multiple voices in the video):
Air has no ownership. With a free and open Internet, we have the same opportunities online as anyone else, without discrimination. I can stay connected to my community, culture, friends, and family—even when I’m far away. I can finish my homework at home and turn it in on time. My community can tell its own stories. No matter how much we make, who we are, or what we believe in, with a free and open Internet, we don’t need any company’s approval to speak. We are 19 million-strong online, desde Nueva Mexico (from New Mexico) to New York. Estamos unidos (we are united). When we stand up, we make history. El aire y el Internet…no se vende—se defiende (The air, and the Internet…don’t sell it—defend it).

Net neutrality has taken on an even more urgency since last night–the 95 House and Senate candidates who pledged support for net neutrality all lost, and a Republican-majority House doesn’t bode well for free Internet either. Check out Latinos for Internet Freedom, a coalition of companies and communities working to protect net neutrality, to send a message to Obama and Congress about protecting Internet access for all.

Via Colorlines: Latino Web Users Challenge Verizon
Related: Mad World: Rule the (Hot Air)

by Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

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