STAFF EDITORIAL: SOPA could lead to scary outcome if passed
February 1, 2012
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nate and the House of Representatives pulled their support for SOPA and PIPA, it was a victory regardless of what you believe about the bills. At a time when people are more cynical about politics than ever, a group of people made their voices heard and the politicians actually listened.
According to Sen. Ron Wyden, lawmakers found over 14 million people who opposed the bills. People contacted their representatives in the thousands. On Jan. 18, at least 115,000 sites participated in the Internet-wide protest, where these sites changed their front pages and blocked content in a strong opposition to the bills.
This included large sites such as Google and Wikipedia and sites that represent the many shades of political thought such as Reddit, The Drudge Report and Wired.
The people of the Internet and the businesses on the Internet, felt that the bills would interfere with their rights and ability to do business. So instead of just complaining on blogs and message boards, they actually got involved in the political process and made their voices heard like Americans always have, through protest and contacting the people they elected to represent them.
The amount of protest became too strong, the voices too loud, for politicians to ignore. What were once supported bills found less and less support. Multiple senators who once sponsored the bills no longer did. The large companies that supported the bills such as The Motion Picture Association, and The United States Chamber of Commerce and the over 100 different lobbyists groups could not convince the politicians to ignore what the people were saying loud and clear.
Soon the bills had so little support it no longer made sense to even give them a vote, four days before the Senate would vote on PIPA, the Congress killed both bills.
A bill that once had bi-partisan support and 30 and 40 co-sponsors, was now not even getting a vote. That shows the power what a group of people can accomplish when they disagree with what their government is doing, get out there and do something about it.
So what do the goings-on in Washington have to do with the average Bakersfield College student? We can make our voice heard in the same way. We can accomplish change just like those online protests had.
We do not need thousands of signatures, or thousands of websites to make a difference. It only takes one phone call or e-mail from a few of us and we can be heard.
Often it can feel that the way things are on campus cannot be changed, but what the SOPA and PIPA protesters have shown us is what can happen if you simply stand up and get counted.