Six climate activists have been arrested after protests in which manure was dumped outside newspaper offices in central London.
Seven tonnes of fertilizer was dumped outside the West London building which houses the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, i, Independent and Evening Standard. The offices of the Daily Telegraph in Victoria were also targeted.
Extinction Rebellion activists said they chose the Daily Mail because it “suppresses the public truth” about the climate emergency. A banner reading ‘Free the Press’ was also hung on scaffolding outside Northcliffe House, the building that houses the newspaper.
The group also attempted to dump several tonnes of manure outside the Telegraph’s offices in central London, but were arrested by police.
In a statement, the environmental protest group said it wanted to send a message to the “four billionaires who own 68% of the UK print media” and demand “an end to media corruption that takes the truth out of the public for profit” .
Police said the group, arriving around 6:40 a.m. Sunday, dumped manure from a truck before climbing onto scaffolding outside the building.
Five people were arrested for an offense under section 148 of the Law on highways. Four of them were also arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.
At around 8 a.m., a 54-year-old man attempted to dump manure outside the Telegraph offices on Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria.
“He was arrested for an offense under section 148 of the Highways Act and on suspicion of dangerous driving,” police said. All six remain in detention.
The environmental group launched a day of protest by sharing photos and videos on social media of protesters carrying signs and waving flags, marching through London and gathering in Parliament Square.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Gully Bujak said: “For the British public, who have seen the criminal behavior of this government and its cronies throughout the pandemic, the conclusion must surely be clear: the arenas of power in this country are rotten, and when it comes to the billionaire-owned press, corruption is the business model.
“It’s time they cut the shit and stop acting like they’re providing a noble service to the public, while greening the climate crisis and stoking the crop war to divide people.”
The XR action comes as police tackled a number of different protests in London on Sunday.
Elsewhere, people marched along Regent Street in a #FreedomToDance march organized by Save Our Scene, to protest the government’s treatment of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic.
Protesters marched from the BBC headquarters to Parliament Square, in an effort to protest Covid-19 restrictions on the hospitality industry.
In a statement shared on Instagram, Save Our Scene said, “We represent thousands of musicians, event teams and locations tomorrow, so don’t forget that when you come.
“[Our] message to the government is to open up the whole industry without further delay, so we must communicate it without giving any reason to distract. “
Police arrested three people on Saturday and three officers were injured during anti-containment protests on Saturday in which thousands of protesters gathered in central London and hundreds of tennis balls were thrown in front of Parliament.
Thousands of protesters – many carrying anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine signs – marched through London towards Parliament Square. They threw hundreds of tennis balls, some with messages, over the fences around Parliament and threw flares and tennis balls outside Downing Street with chants of “shame on you. “and boos directed at No. 10.
Meanwhile, in Hyde Park, officers were pictured trying to remove the anti-vaccine stickers from their vans.
The Met arrested 12 people in three raids across the capital as part of a crackdown ahead of the weekend, saying it had “zero tolerance for disorder or crime”.
Extinction Rebellion said four female members were arrested on Friday at one of its east London warehouses where they created art for the Free the Press march on Sunday.