Activists have taken the fight to the front gates of the News Corp printing press in Murarrie, Queensland last night demanding that ‘News Corp tell the truth about the climate and ecological crisis,’ said a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion (XR).
Three activists locked their arms in barrels and placed themselves in from of the printing press building gates until they were removed by police. This meant that trucks were unable to leave the site disrupting the distribution of the newspapers across Queensland.
‘News Corp, owned by Rupert Murdoch, controls nearly 60 per cent of daily newspaper distribution in Australia. In Queensland that includes The Australian and The Courier Mail,’ said the spokesperson for the activists.
Calls for a boycott of News Corp media has been growing around the country as they have come under fire for ‘misrepresenting facts about the climate crisis and distributing political propaganda.
‘On January 15, The Australian published a story that attributed Australia’s most devastating bushfire season to an increased number of arsonists. This claim has no legitimacy, yet was presented as fact,’ said the XR spokesperson.
Calls from the scientific community have been mounting to take strong and decisive action on climate change. The impact of these calls combined with investor pressure and world wide actions is now impacting some fossil fuel businesses that are beginning to heed the call with BP announcing the withdrawal from three US-based trade associations, ‘including the country’s main refining lobby, because of disagreements over their climate-related policies and activities,’ as reported in The Guardian.
‘The decision comes after the UK oil corporation’s new chief executive, Bernard Looney, set an ambitious target to shrink its carbon footprint to net zero by 2050. To achieve this it will have to cut more greenhouse gas emissions every year than the amount produced by the whole of the UK.’
Calls for civil disobedience grow
Christiana Figueres, who led the negotiations for the Paris Agreement, is also now calling for people ‘to participate in non-violent political movements wherever possible’ in her recently released book The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis as reported by Jeff McMahon in Forbes.
In the book Figueres and her co-author, her strategic advisor, Tom Rivett-Carnac, highlight the need for voters to make action on climate change their number one issue and endorse Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg.
‘[T]hey note that electoral politics have failed to meet the challenge, largely because of systemic roadblocks including corporate lobbying and partisan opposition,’ reports McMahon.
‘Media monopolies are anti-democratic. Corporations like News Corp have unjustified influence over elections and media narratives; supporting the elite,’ said Jarrah, 22 year-old psychology student who locked on to a barrel to blockade the printing press last night.
Clancy, 18 year-old law and science student locked her arm into a barrel to block delivery trucks.
‘Mass media has a duty of care to give the public the unbiased truth, not one murky with fossil fuel donations,’ said Clancy.
‘There is truly no time for the public to be complacent on the climate crisis,’ said Justice, a 25 year-old communications manager who also locked on last night.
‘Murdoch isn’t going to stop using his media-monopoly to back up violent governments and polluting industries of his own accord,’ said Justice.
Despite controversial lock-on devices being used, News Corp requested police release the protesters without charge.