Environmental activists block newspaper printing works in the UK

Two protesters tied to bamboo and two sitting on the roof of a van block the road outside Broxbourne Printers, in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England, Saturday September 5, 2020. Environmental activists blocked two UK print shops, disrupting distribution of several national newspapers.  The group Extinction Rebellion said it was targeting print shops in Broxbourne, north London, and Knowsley, in the northwest of England, which are owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.  Dozens of protesters locked themselves in vehicles and bamboo scaffolding to block the road outside the factories.  The facilities print Murdoch-owned newspapers, The Sun and The Times, as well as the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Financial Times.  (Yui Mok/AP via AP)

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Two protesters tied to bamboo and two sitting on the roof of a van block the road outside Broxbourne Printers, in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England, Saturday September 5, 2020. Environmental activists blocked two UK print shops, disrupting distribution of several national newspapers. The group Extinction Rebellion said it was targeting print shops in Broxbourne, north London, and Knowsley, in the northwest of England, which are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Dozens of protesters locked themselves in vehicles and bamboo scaffolding to block the road outside the factories. The facilities print Murdoch-owned newspapers, The Sun and The Times, as well as the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Financial Times. (Yui Mok/AP via AP)

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Two protesters tied to bamboo and two sitting on the roof of a van block the road outside Broxbourne Printers, in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England, Saturday September 5, 2020. Environmental activists blocked two UK print shops, disrupting distribution of several national newspapers. The group Extinction Rebellion said it was targeting print shops in Broxbourne, north London, and Knowsley, in the northwest of England, which are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Dozens of protesters locked themselves in vehicles and bamboo scaffolding to block the road outside the factories. The facilities print Murdoch-owned newspapers, The Sun and The Times, as well as the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Financial Times. (Yui Mok/AP via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Police have arrested more than 70 environmental activists who blocked two British print shops, disrupting the distribution of several national newspapers on Saturday.

The group Extinction Rebellion said it was targeting print shops in Broxbourne, north London, and Knowsley, in the northwest of England, which are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Dozens of protesters locked themselves in trucks and bamboo scaffolding to block the road outside the factories. The facilities print Murdoch-owned newspapers, The Sun and The Times, as well as the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Financial Times.

The group said it was disrupting newspapers “to expose these companies’ failure to accurately report on the climate and ecological emergency, and their constant manipulation of the truth to suit their own personal and political agendas.”

Police said they arrested 42 people at the Broxbourne factory on Saturday morning. Another 30 people were arrested in Knowsley. Extinction Rebellion said all remaining protesters ended their protest at 11 a.m.

Newsprinters, which operates the print shops, said the protest was an “attack on all the free press”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter that “a free press is essential to hold government and other powerful institutions to account” and that it “is totally unacceptable to seek to limit public access to information in this way”.

Journalist groups also criticized the disruption. Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors, said protesting peacefully was a right, but “it is not acceptable for those who want only their voice to be heard to attempt to silence others”.

Extinction Rebellion has blocked roads and bridges in several UK towns since Monday as part of two weeks of civil disobedience to push for stronger action on climate change. Hundreds of people were arrested.

Last year, more than 1,700 arrests were made during Extinction Rebellion’s 10-day ‘autumn uprising’ which disrupted traffic and business activity in several parts of the UK.