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Shaking up Shareholders: Building a Movement to Hold Comcast Accountable

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“Comcast has a tower, but the people have the power!” echoed around the corridor outside of Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center last Wednesday as 100 people gathered during the Comcast shareholders meeting in opposition to their proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable. Attendees agreed that Comcast’s top executives and shareholders, all present that day, will be about the only ones to profit from the proposed deal that will make the rest of us more poor.

People nationwide are opposed to the proposed merger of the nation’s top two internet and cable companies, which would make Comcast a more powerful media monopoly, with the ability to raise rates, slow down speeds, and dominate the flow of information over internet and cable.

Here in Philly, increasing numbers of community members are joining the CAP Comcast campaign because we’re also fed up with Comcast’s huge tax breaks, public subsidies, and lobbying against workers’ rights at a time when our city is struggling against poverty and a public education budget deficit.

While the shareholders voted inside their meeting a crowd of Comcast customers and stakeholders organized by CAP Comcast and our national allies Free Press, Media Action Grassroots Network, Consumers Union, and Common Cause held a “People’s Vote” outside the meeting about whether the proposed merger should be allowed. The result? A resounding “NO!”

We then gathered our votes and combined them with the more than 400,000 petition signatures that we and our allies previously collected, and marched them into the shareholders meeting where we delivered them directly to Comcast representatives. Our voices were heard loud and clear by Comcast executives, shareholders, and the press: The proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is against the public interest, and we’re building a movement to stop it.  We’ll continue to push this message as regulators at the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice prepare to decide on whether or not to approve the merger based on whether or not they believe it will serve the public interest.

Check out photos and video and links to press coverage below.

Thanks to everyone who showed up and helped spread the word! If you missed it, don’t worry, this is only the beginning. Last week’s action was part of a larger national campaign to stop the merger, tied to CAP Comcast’s local effort to make Comcast pay their fair share in Philly. You can join us by visiting capcomcast.org to sign the petition, tell us your story, and sign up for updates. We’re also looking for volunteers! Email jeff@mediamobilizing.org if you want more info about getting involved.

Press coverage of our action:

Los Angeles Times

Philadelphia Inquirer (post-event story)

Philadelphia Inquirer (pre-event story)
Technical.ly Philly

Common Dreams

KYW-News Radio (CBS)

Huff Post Live

Consumerist

International Business Times

Philadelphia Daily News

Philadelphia Business Journal

Multi-Channel News

Mint Press News
Broadcasting & Cable

Common Dreams (on Comcast lobbying and our action)

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On May 28, 2014
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