On sabotaging the press.

 I looked in several places this morning for a Saturday paper. I read a mix of papers, including the Times, Telegraph, Guardian and Independent. 

Usually on a Saturday I get the Times for Matthew Parris - don't agree with him much these days but he's usually thought provoking. But today there were no copies of the Times or Telegraph (or the Mail or the Sun, or the Financial Times) and I had to make do with the Guardian.

I subsequently discovered that the reason half the papers were missing everywhere in Copeland this morning and early afternoon was deliberate sabotage by a mob of Extinction Rebellion protesters who disrupted overnight deliveries of The Sun, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Times by chaining themselves to bamboo structures and using vans and a boat to obstruct the roads at Newsprinters printing works in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, and Knowsley, near Liverpool. 

Police arrested a total of 80 people, including 30 people in Merseyside and 50 in Hertfordshire, where access was only fully restored on Saturday evening.  

This follows 600 arrests over the last few days at Extinction Rebellion protests in London, including one which left an emergency ambulance blocked from getting through to the hospital to which it was apparently taking a sick patient.

Peaceful, non-violent demonstrations in favour or more radical action to support the environment is entirely legitimate. Criticising the press if you think they are not reporting accurately is entirely legitimate.

Blocking ambulances is not legitimate and harmless protest. 

Trying to suppress newspapers you don't like is the tactics of fascism - an over-used word but in this context a legitimate one.

The Telegraph has removed their paywall this weekend and content which would normally be charged for is free until Monday morning.

I had not originally intended to read the Telegraph this morning - I do sometimes read it, as I sometimes read all the papers listed in the first sentence of this post, but as I wrote above my normal choice of paper on Saturday is The Times.

But I will take up the Telegraph's offer to read it for online for free this weekend on principle.

Anything that Extinction Rebellion or anyone else tries to stop me reading I will make a point of reading.


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