Thousands of net neutrality supporters protested Thursday outside more than 700 Verizon stores in all 50 states - including Maine - plus the District of Columbia.
In Bangor, more than a dozen people showed up near Verizon's Bangor Mall location to challenge a plan by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a former Verizon attorney, to repeal the net neutrality 2015 rules on Dec. 14.
Jonathan Fulford, a protestor from Monroe and Democratic candidate for Maine's 2nd Congressional District, said increasing internet costs will have the effect of stifling free speech.
"There's never a good time to tile the playing field away from the consumers and small businesses in favor of big business," Fulford said. "This has the power to crush free speech and block access by students, activists, artists and small business owners. Internet wasn't made for only the rich, it was made for all of us."
The nationwide protests were organized by the Free Press Action Fund and other groups that are urging lawmakers in Washington to condemn the FCC plan to repeal net neutrality.