Newspapers Delayed After Printing Presses Blocked By Extinction Rebellion Protesters
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Several national newspapers faced delays today after Extinction Rebellion activists blocked access to printing presses owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
The printing presses are behind News Corp titles including The Sun, The Times, The Sun on Sunday, The Sunday Times, and The Scottish Sun, and also print The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, and the London Evening Standard.
In a statement on Twitter posted this morning, the Sun newspaper said 'copies of The Sun and other newspapers will be late arriving at newsagents today' after 'newspaper print sites were disrupted last night by Extinction Rebellion protests'.
Extinction Rebellion had used vehicles and chains of activists linked together to block roads to the presses, having accused many news outlets of failing to report on climate change, among other issues.
The vans had been covered with banners with messages including 'Free the truth' and 'Refugees are welcome here', according to the BBC.
"The groups are using disruption to expose the failure of these corporations to accurately report on the climate and ecological emergency, and their consistent manipulatIon of the truth to suit their own personal and political agendas," a post on the Extinction Rebellion website said.
Hertfordshire Police said officers had been called to Great Eastern Road near the Broxbourne printing site at around 10pm, where they found around 100 protesters who had 'secured themselves to structures and one another'.
Extinction Rebellion said the UK wasn't the only country taking part in the protest, saying: "Several hours earlier, down under in Sydney, XR Australia lit the first beacon of media actions, by holding their own action, calling out the media bulls**t, at News Corps' HQ in Sydney."
Activist Amanda Stanley, 23, from Liverpool, said: "The right-wing media have been spreading lies and creating divides for decades, from the Hillsborough disaster to the demonisation of asylum seekers, but the problem doesn't end there.
"The entire institution of the media follows the same toxic rulebook, dehumanising marginalised groups and perpetuating inequality. It has become necessary to block lies in order to free the truth, thereby showing ordinary people that they are the ones with the power, not the elite minority that own the newspapers and run the country."
A spokeswoman for Newsprinters said printing had transferred to 'industry partners' overnight, with staff working hard to get newspapers delivered to retailers as soon as possible.
"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."
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "This morning people across the country will be prevented from reading their newspaper because of the actions of Extinction Rebellion. This attack on our free press, society and democracy is completely unacceptable."