We Do Not Have A Free Press

Overnight on Friday, 4th September, over 100 rebels blockaded newspaper printers overnight, successfully preventing The Sun, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Times from reaching newsstands all over the country.

In one of Extinction Rebellion’s most coordinated and disruptive actions to date, rebels simultaneously took site in Broxbourne, Liverpool and Glasgow with fantastically effective roadblock structures.

The media has a vital role to play in telling the most urgent story of our time – the climate and ecological emergency. We desperately need them to stop spreading hatred and lies, and instead take a real lead to help us come together to hold our government to account.

‘Priti Patel has accused us of making an “attack on free press, society and democracy”. That’s hyperbolic for sure. But let’s not get distracted. Our free press, society and democracy is under attack – from a failing government that lies to us consistently, is becoming increasingly authoritarian, and is leading us towards 4 degrees of warming.

Priti Patel and her government are part of a political system that does not want and does not benefit from a free press. Instead our leaders have allowed the majority of our media to be amassed in the hands of five people with powerful vested interests and deep connections to fossil fuel industries. [1] Powerful vested interest has led to the appointment of Tony Abbott – a friend of Rupert Murdochs, a climate change denier, misogynist and homophobe – as a UK Trade Envoy. Our leaders are allowing these powerful few to deny the young the information they need to plan for their futures and defend themselves. ‘ (from XR Press release 5.9.20)

A free press is vital. But UK mainstream media is not ‘free’ press. It is owned by a few billionaires whose agenda is not holding government & powerful institutions to account for their negligence in failing to act to protect its citizens.

For democracy to work, people need to be in possession of the facts.

[1] BBC documentary The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/m000kxw1/the-rise-of-the-murdoch-dynasty

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!

Local rebels joined a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party outside Gatwick Airport yesterday to protest against the high carbon footprint of the airline industry.

Less than 10% of the world’s population has ever been on a plane. Yet the airline industry is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Rebels in fancy dress were joined by a former pilot who left the airline industry, for which he had worked for a number of years, as he felt that he could no longer support the carbon-intensive industry.

The Rebel Riders, en route from Brighton to London, arrived to the sight of rebels performing Discobedience in the centre of the roundabout!

Fossil Fuels Are Killing Us

On Friday we joined Extinction Rebellion groups across the country in a nationwide banner drop, as part of a fossil fuel-focused day of action.  Six banners hanging on three bridges across the M25, spread our message to thousands of travellers, in the constant stream of heavy traffic throughout the day.