Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 1 October 2020

Extinction Rebellion climate protesters blockade Rupert Murdoch's printing presses

Extinction Rebellion accused the newspapers of failing to accurately report on climate change

Climate change activists delayed the distribution of several British newspapers on Saturday after blockading print press plants owned by Rupert Murdoch.

The protests slowed the delivery of Murdoch-owned papers like The Times and The Sun, and also other newspapers that have printing press contracts including The Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and The Financial Times.

A spokeswoman for Newsprinters, the UK printing press arm of Murdoch’s global media empire, called the protest an “attack on all of the free press”.

Extinction Rebellion said it took the action to highlight what it regards as the newspapers' failure to accurately report on climate change.

More than 100 people joined the protests in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, in Knowsley, Merseyside, and near Motherwell, Scotland and 63 people were arrested - 42 in Hertfordshire and 21 by Merseyside police.

The Sun tweeted: “This is an attack on all the free press.” That message was repeated by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The Times tweeted an apology and said it was trying to get the paper into newsagents as quickly as possible.

Further protests were planned Saturday.

A Newsprinters spokeswoman said the disruption meant printing had to be transferred to other sites.

"We apologise sincerely to any readers of The Sun, The Times, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times who may be unable to buy their usual newspaper this morning due to late deliveries," she said.

"This attack on all of the free press impacted many workers going about their jobs. Overnight print workers, delivery drivers, wholesale workers and retail newsagents have faced delays and financial penalty. This is a matter for the police and the Home Office."

The blockade is part of a week of protests by Extinction Rebellion, including on Wednesday in Parliament Square, London, where demonstrators lay under white sheets to represent corpses.

The group says an emergency response and mass move away from polluting industries and behaviours is needed to avert a looming climate cataclysm.

Updated: September 5, 2020 03:32 PM

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