We cannot count on using the Internet in the coming years the way we have used it up to now. Hardly a week goes by without a report of a gross violation of privacy, a security breach, an act of government censorship, or another merger or buyout cementing Internet privatization and the centralization of resources. Someday soon it will be your YouTube video or Facebook page that will be cancelled or removed.
As these trends accelerate, they affect our ability to organize. We must take a stand now. The seeds of the next generation of the Internet, one that counters these repressive trends, are currently being planted, but how they grow and what features are prioritized is still to be worked out.
At the same time, the people and organizations doing the most important movement organizing are not in the conversation about the direction of the Internet. And worse, racism, sexism and other forms of oppression are difficult obstacles to a on-going and healthy dialogue that ensures Internet development benefits and is guided by organizing priorities.
May First/People Link’s political work is the Internet. We are a membership organization with over 700 members, from a broad variety of movement organizations, based in the United States and Mexico. We can have an impact on the development of the Internet we need. But only if we are organized and collectively come together, identify and work through forces of oppression, and to define these priorities together.