CORRUPT AS FUCK: Extinction Rebellion spray paint the offices of The Sun, Daily Mail and The Telegraph and call out suppression of truth on climate crisis
March 22, 2023 by Extinction Rebellion
BREAKING: In an act of civic duty, Extinction Rebellion has taken on the tabloid media this morning in a series of actions calling out their blatant suppression of crucial news on the climate and ecological crisis. In London, three people met The Sun’s political investigative reporter Amir Razavi in a sting operation, where they posed as whistleblowers there to provide him with top secret information. The group questioned Razavi about his climate ethics, asking him to explain his newspaper’s 30-year campaign of climate lies and misinformation.
The Extinction Rebellion citizen journalists took the rare opportunity to ask why The Sun continues to withhold, deny and downgrade vital information on the scale of the climate crisis and its root causes, just days after Antonio Guterres likened the latest IPCC report to a “survival guide for humanity”.
While this was taking place, over at the headquarters of Rupert Murdoch’s News UK at London Bridge, the Telegraph HQ in Victoria and the offices of the Daily Mail in Kensington, several people spray painted the buildings with green washable paint using fire extinguishers. A large banner with the words ‘CORRUPT AS FUCK’ was attached to multiple helium filled balloons at New UK and was floated up in front of the office windows on higher floors to highlight the destructive influence of media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch on democracy.
People on the ground stuck stickers to the office windows which invited onlookers to come to Parliament from 21st April to attend The Big One, where tens of thousands will stand together to demand citizen-led climate action.
Steve Tooze of Extinction Rebellion and former Sun and Daily Mail journalist, said: “The mainstream media has a major role to play in delivering the truth to the general public about the climate and ecological emergency. They could and should be helping all of us come together around the clear need for change and providing people with the facts so we can work out how to transition away from fossil fuels and build a future that is safer, fairer, better for everyone. Instead, their business model thrives on division and click bait culture that sets people against one another. The reality is, the billionaire owned media uses this strategy to uphold the status quo so that those with power can hold on tightly to that power.
“Extinction Rebellion is saying we’re not going to accept this anymore. People need to set aside their differences and come together if we’re going to stave off the worst of the climate crisis and build a better society, so we’re inviting everyone to join us at Parliament from 21st April to start creating the change we need. The mainstream press has a responsibility to help people find a way to achieve this rather than profiting from our division.”
Climate solutions are readily available, as outlined in the IPCC report. What is lacking is media reporting and government support, with the Telegraph suggesting for example that Monday’s IPCC report was “nothing but confected hysteria” and the The Daily Mail accused the authors of using “hysterical language”. The Sun devoted less than half a column on page two to the report. The Daily Mail has repeatedly published misleading or outright false information on the climate crisis. The Telegraph platforms and emboldens known climate deniers, and none of our national papers give this crisis the attention appropriate to the scale of the emergency.
Anna, a photographer from London who took part in the action, said: “I am taking this action to highlight the Daily Mail’s inadequate response to the climate and ecological crises. From editorials calling for an end to net zero policies, to their support of fracking, the Mail makes itself an enemy of our planet and the humans who depend on it. The news shapes our minds, and without honest reporting we risk sleepwalking into an unnecessarily difficult future.”
On the day that Boris Johnson faces the music over lying to Parliament, the poster boy that these papers made PM, Extinction Rebellion aims to put the spotlight on the revolving door between the press and the UK government. With the dust settling on the BBC’s Gary Lineker scandal, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the government’s influence on editorial lines, strikes at the core of democracy in the UK. Rupert Murdoch or his employees met with members of the government a staggering 206 times between 2018-20, and in a 7 week period in Autumn 2020, Murdoch & co met with five senior ministers 7 times. Ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson was a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph before he entered No. 10 and evidence shows that major papers have the power to pick and choose Prime Ministers.
Tom Masters, Civil Servant from Bristol, said: “Extinction Rebellion demands that people tell the truth about the climate emergency. This shouldn’t be too much to ask of a national newspaper that exerts significant influence over its readership and over the British government.
The Telegraph has been described as ‘Fleet Street’s last dinosaur of climate change denial’ by climate science expert Dr Bob Ward, and with good reason. Only this week they downplayed the severity of the IPCC report and labelled it as hysterical. I undertook today’s action to highlight the irresponsibility of mainstream press and their unwillingness to do their job and tell people the truth and hold power to account for their inaction.”
The action comes just 30 days before thousands will descend on Parliament for four days for The Big One. On Monday this week, dozens of major NGOs, trade unions, justice movements and more made their commitment to stand with Extinction Rebellion in April to face the intersecting crises of climate breakdown, the cost of living, attacks on democracy, and the shredding of essential public services, together.
Fuel Poverty Action, who will be attending the Big One in April, said: “Fuel Poverty Action is supporting The Big One because we know collective action is essential to winning a just energy system for all. This government is in the pockets of big polluters, we’re the second largest oil producers in Europe but 7.5 million people are living in fuel poverty. It’s time to put power back in the hands of the people to deliver real solutions.”
Notes to Editors
 The Big One https://extinctionrebellion.uk/the-big-one/
About Extinction Rebellion
Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a decentralised, international and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.
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Donate to The Big One | Support the Rebellion
What Emergency? | Read about the true scale of the climate crisis
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XR UK website | Find out more about XRUK
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Time has almost entirely run out to address the climate and ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, leading to societal collapse and mass loss of life. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.