LONDON (AP) — Environmental activists have blockaded two British printing plants, disrupting the distribution of several national newspapers on Saturday.
The group Extinction Rebellion said it targeted printworks at Broxbourne, north of London, and Knowsley in northwest England that are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
Dozens of protesters locked themselves to vehicles and bamboo scaffolding to block the road outside the plants. The facilities print Murdoch-owned papers The Sun and The Times, as well as the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Financial Times.
Extinction Rebellion do not tolerate any other view than their own. They shout down opponents and now prevent newspapers being delivered. This intolerance must be fought.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) September 5, 2020
The group said it was disrupting the newspapers “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.”
Police said they had arrested 13 people by Saturday morning at the Broxbourne plant, but delivery trucks had still not been able to leave. Another 17 people were arrested in Knowsley.
Newsprinters, which operates the printing plants, said the protest was an “attack on all of the free press.” Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Twitter that “this attack on our free press, society and democracy is completely unacceptable.”
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. https://t.co/3DfasjD6sS
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) September 5, 2020
Extinction Rebellion has blocked roads and bridges in several British cities since Monday as part of two weeks of civil disobedience to press for stronger action against climate change. Hundreds of people have been arrested.
Last year, more than 1,700 arrests were made during Extinction Rebellion’s 10-day “Autumn Uprising,” which disrupted traffic and business activity in several parts of the UK.
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