Extinction Rebellion newspaper protest: Twenty-six charged

Pablo Tucker
September 11, 2020

Extinction Rebellion faces being dumped by millionaire backers over its newspaper blockade stunt.

Holding signs quoting Jewish sage Hillel and wearing kippot with the XR logo on, around 25 demonstrators took part in events which included a vigil, prayer sessions, discussions and a march.

It aims to expand Britain's pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 to cover so-far excluded sectors such as worldwide shipping and air travel, and for actions toward the goal to be faster and determined by a citizens' assembly. "I had to tell them a couple of times, "Guys, I wasn't in Syria", she told The Sunday People. "When the press does not treat the breakdown of our climate as an emergency, we all suffer". "Actually, I think it is damaging to the cause of climate change".

Almost all of the activists at Parliament Square in London on Tuesday wore face masks, while simultaneous demonstrations in Cardiff and Manchester were planned to allow protesters to take part closer to home, organisers said.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden condemned XR's actions as "idiotic", while Cabinet colleagues, including Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, urged people to buy a paper to support the industry, which has been badly hit by a decline in advertising revenue during the pandemic.

"You can't just address one problem", he said in a speech to the crowd in Parliament Square, with many listeners waving coloured flags with Extinction Rebellion's hourglass symbol or carrying homemade placards.

"Extinction Rebellion chose to stop the distribution of the print version of several newspapers for one day and suddenly our politicians are up in arms", the group adds.

Authorities said they had detained 42 people by Saturday morning in the Broxbourne plant along with a further 30 individuals were detained in Knowsley.

Thirty protesters were arrested by Merseyside Police at the Knowsley plant. As he was loaded onto the police van, straggling members of the Extinction Rebellion protest shouted out "Reparations Rebellion!"

Activists said they were glad to be back on the streets after months of waiting for conditions to be safe enough.

The CEF has made donations to dozens of climate-related groups and scientists around the world.

Activists also demanded the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2030 or before.

Tuesday's protests were the start of 10 days of action around Britain, organisers said.

"The team said it had been interrupting the papers" to expose the collapse of the corporations to report about the climate and environmental emergency, and their constant manipulation of the facts to suit their particular political and personal agendas".

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