Extinction Rebellion blockade printing presses of major newspapers

Climate activists Extinction Rebellion (XR) have blocked the roads to a number of newspaper printing presses in England and Scotland, in an effort to prevent them distributing their papers.

The group claim around 80 protesters have blocked access to two print works run by News UK, owners of The Sun, The Times and The Telegraph, in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, and Knowsley near Liverpool.

The Daily Mail and the London Evening Standard are also printed at those locations.

Pic: Extinction Rebellion UK
Image: The group say they are trying to prevent distribution of Saturday’s newspapers. Pic: Extinction Rebellion UK

It comes after several days of disruption across London by the group, in a bid to highlight the climate crisis.

Protesters also gathered at another site in Motherwell, but Police Scotland say they have been moved on with no arrests made.

XR claim that the “mainstream media” is controlled by a small number of people, and that news corporations are guilty of “consistent manipulation of the truth to suit their own personal and political agendas.”

The group in Hertfordshire have erected bamboo structures on the approach to the printers, preventing access to the site.

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A Sky News producer at the scene said there were lines of vans queued up along the road to the site, waiting to collect newspapers.

Hertfordshire Police said: “We’re currently in Great Eastern Road, Waltham Cross, following reports of a protest.

“Our officers are engaging with the group, which consists of around 100 people, and we are working to facilitate the rights of both the protesters and those affected by their presence.”

Sky News has contacted News Corp and Merseyside Police for their comments.

Extinction Rebellion activist Gully Bujak, 27, said: “You cannot have a functioning democracy with a mainstream media that is ruled by a small, unrepresentative sect of society, who are in bed with politicians and the fossil fuel industry.

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“The climate emergency is an existential threat to humanity. Instead of publishing this on the front page every day as it deserves, much of our media ignores the issue and some actively sow seeds of climate denial.

“They thrive off of polarisation and division. They sow hatred in order to distract us, actively profiting from this division.

“To these papers we say this: you will not come between us anymore. For a night we’re going to filter out the lies and take the power back. For a night we’re going to show the world that you are vulnerable, just like us.”