The night of Friday 4th September saw an audacious action, where XR activists in Broxbourne and Liverpool blockaded printers, stopping The Sun, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Times from reaching newsstands all over the country. It catapulted this rebellion to the forefront of the news for the first time. Bulletins featured the story prominently, and at one point it was trending at number 1 on Twitter. And then we saw the backlash. It was always going to come. And our actions were always going to be labelled as “an attack on the free press.”
Let’s be clear – it was nothing of the kind. This wasn’t targeted at the Fourth Estate per se. It was targeted at the Murdoch media empire. All we in XR have ever asked of the media is that it tells truth about the climate and ecological emergency. But the Murdoch machine has promoted climate denier Andrew Bolt in Australia. It constantly cast doubt on global heating playing a role in the recent wildfires in that country, instead pedalling spurious theories about arson. (Rupert Murdoch’s own son has gone on record criticising this.) In the UK, Murdoch papers have relentlessly backed fracking in the face of opposition from scientists and the public. And in the US, Fox News last year used 86% of its reports on climate change to promote climate denial. This is just a fraction of the fictions it has spun, the damage it has done. There are many, many more examples.
This is what we’re up against. This is at the heart of the battle. To get these hugely powerful vested interests to finally start telling the truth. In times as dark as these, we need a free press more than ever. Unfortunately we don’t have one.
Free The Truth.