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Advice from a People's Lobbyist--Taking Action Against 5G

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Trendous Fire Dangers of 5G Rollout
Trendous Fire Dangers of 5G Rollout
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Perhaps you have been already convinced by reading articles on this site or others about the devastating effects of the ongoing rollout of massive numbers of 4G/5G so-called small cells (short for cell towers) throughout cities and towns in the U.S. If you're not up to speed of why you should be extremely, extremely alarmed, you can read my previous article on the subject here ("The 5G Juggernaut, Coming Soon to a Utility Pole Outside Your Home") Click Here )

For ease of discussion, in this article I refer to the plan to put radiation-emitting "small" cell towers everywhere that people live, work, and play as "5G." The G refers to generation, not Ghz, as many people mistakenly assume. The 5G small cells usually start at around 28 Ghz, and can go up from there.

Assuming you are now aware of how this vast rollout will have horrible impacts on our quality of life, and the-well being of the planet, how can you take action to slow it down, or try to stop it? If you live in California, you will not have any trouble finding ways to express your opposition to the telecoms' attempt to greenlight 5G, by removing the rollout as much as possible from oversight and control by local governments.

California is one of the few states that was able to defeat one of these ALEC-inspired 5G streamlining bills. (ALEC is a think tank that supports industry interests.) In 2017, activists were able defeat SB 649. Although SB 649 did just barely squeak through the legislature, it was stopped by Gov. Jerry Brown with a dramatic minutes-before-midnight veto. The fact that half of the state's legislators had voted against it, gave him the backup he needed to send it to oblivion.

Now the telecoms have introduced a lot of new bills in California to accomplish the same thing as that bill. Possibly they feel by breaking it down into numerous bills, that activists will not be able to fight all of them, because their attention and resources will be spread too thin.

Although the suggestions in this article are specifically about lobbying against bills currently up in California (SB 556, AB 537, AB 955, and SB 378 ), the same advice applies to lobbying legislators in any state.

Once you've made the decision to make your opposition to this legislation known, what is the most effective way to do that? My advice is based on my past experience as a lobbyist representing a statewide human rights organization, when on more than one occasion, a tiny group of us were able to win extraordinary victories against bills being strongly pushed by powerful corporate interests. I also worked as a legislative assistant to a city council person, giving me an inside look at the dynamics of local government, and was very involved in the 2017 campaign to defeat SB 649.

Mindset is important. If your mindset is "The government is totally against us, we live in a corporatocracy and I just need to register my outrage, but I know we're not going to win," your lobbying efforts are unlikely to succeed. If your mindset is "Legislators definitely don't share my values, but maybe I can trick them into supporting us, by greatly watering down what I believe into a more palatable 'mainstream' message," No, this is not going to convince them to take the action you're hoping for. Or "What if I come up with an assertion that is so powerful that the person I'm talking to will be absolutely overwhelmed, and whether or not I provide them with supporting arguments and documentation is not really important?--Uh, no.

There is no question that anti-5G lobbyists are up against huge forces that have almost unlimited funds to bribe legislators with donations, and pay full time lobbyists to perpetuate their propaganda.

In my opinion, there is only one way to win when the odds are so stacked against us, and that is to connect with the person that you're communicating with as a fellow human being, who is trying to make sense of a world where all our usual assumptions about normality and democracy have been turned upside down. A fellow/sister human who cares as deeply as you do about the health and well-being of their children, family, and friends, and who has a strong interest in the future of California, and does not want the state destroyed by catastrophic wildfires which could result from this unregulated cell tower rollout.

By human connection with the legislator or aide, I mean putting yourself in their shoes. What argument is going to overcome all the years of telecom and mainstream propaganda they've been programmed with? Maybe explaining that their child could get a brain tumor-- or they might not even be able to have children-- as a result of the ever-increasing close proximity radiation that this legislation would create? Or perhaps giving them documented information about the extreme fire risks posed by locating these very powerful small cell towers everywhere.

Although the industry likes to describe them as "small" cells, the equipment can be quite large, adding immensely to the aesthetic deterioration of California cities and towns. And the radiation can often be just as powerful as the traditional 3G/4G macro towers, now with the added very strong EMF (electromagnetic field) pollution that is caused by the 5G antennas. 5G is not replacing 4G, it is adding on to it.

It's important to do your homework, so you are familiar with what the bill says, and can provide backup documentation for your assertions.

It should go without saying, that you need to adhere to the truth 100% of the time. Unfortunately some activists working on these bills have been ignoring this rule. Sometimes they appear to believe an altered version of the facts will be more effective. The truth about the planned rollout of thousands of 5G cell towers directly outside our homes is so horrendous that we don't have to exaggerate anything, or slant the truth to get a desired effect.

Take for example the information that, for many years, telecoms had not been able to get insurance for small cells, unless there is an exclusion for "EMF pollution" (i.e. all the people that can be expected to get deathly ill as a result of having powerful 4G/5G antennas outside their bedroom windows). Then there's other information indicating that small cells present very serious fire risks. Somehow these two arguments got combined into one shorter message, that telecoms can't get insurance for small cells due to extreme fire dangers. Since many legislators might not even know what EMF pollution is, that makes for a much more impressive message, since everyone who lives in California is worried about wildfires. The only small problem is that that argument is not true.

Another example of this kind of distorted messaging is the flyer I've seen that says a good argument against SB 378, a bill which allows much shallower depth for underground trenches to install fiber, is to say that small cell antennas are an extreme fire hazard. Except nowhere in the bill is anything about antennas mentioned. The bill specifically states that the fiber will be used for either wireless or wired broadband.

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Jenny Miller is a writer, activist, and freelance editor, living in California.

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Advice from a People's Lobbyist--Taking Action Against 5G

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