Many pundits and companies have tried to illustrate how the net neutrality repeal will affect internet users, but YouTuber Rob Bliss has made one of the best demonstrations yet. It’s good because it’s simple, it isn’t trying to sell you hamburgers, and it confused police officers.
The demonstration also took place at a very suitable location – the streets outside of the FCC headquarters in Washington, DC. That’s where Bliss set up traffic cones and rode his bike in the one available lane so that he could “throttle” traffic, unless drivers wanted to pay a $5 fee. This way, as Ajit Pai has put it, “consumers can pick the plan that’s best for them.”
Bliss attempted the throttle protest three days in a row. Each day, the police showed up and blocked his efforts to “restore automotive freedom” (just as the FCC is claiming to be “restoring internet freedom” by ending net neutrality).
The police in the video grow more miffed with each interaction as they try to explain that Bliss doesn’t have the authority to obstruct traffic, or as Bliss explains, “sell priority access passes.”
But Bliss told The Next Web that the police were actually very patient with his form of activism. “The cops were amazing,” he told TNW. “I think DC police just has a lot of great training and also experience due to frequent interactions with nonviolent protestors.”
Despite their patience, law enforcement eventually set up a constant presence so that Bliss couldn’t continue keep throttling traffic. If only net neutrality was that easy.