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> Extinction Rebellion block access to newspapers
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Iz~
post Sep 5 2020, 01:37 PM
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Extinction Rebellion's actions have been on occasion controversial (e.g. last week when their Twitter account declared that they were not a socialist organisation, immediately earning the ire of all of Left Twitter but that's not the topic today hence spoiler tags).

This week they've done something much more fun to talk about. Physically stopping the presses that print Murdoch papers (Sun, Times, and for good measure, the Telegraph and Mail as well) from making it to distribution.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-54038591

Is this a good and popular action, targeting papers that downplay the climate crisis and therefore play a huge part in burying it as an issue - making them culpable for planet destruction? Or is this an attack on the free press?

(guess which line the party Murdoch put into power in the UK has taken)
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Miss J00ps
post Sep 5 2020, 01:46 PM
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I have zero issue with it, just getting that out the way.
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Quarantilas
post Sep 5 2020, 02:17 PM
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FINALLY an extinction rebellion action I can get behind
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Andrew.
post Sep 5 2020, 02:24 PM
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I'm not gonna complain at the Murdoch press getting restricted for one day only. If even a few people decide to permanently stop buying the Scum etc then it'll have been worth it.

Although on the whole I think Extinction Rebellion do more harm than good to the climate movement.
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Iz~
post Sep 6 2020, 04:43 AM
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QUOTE(Andrew. @ Sep 5 2020, 02:24 PM) *
I'm not gonna complain at the Murdoch press getting restricted for one day only. If even a few people decide to permanently stop buying the Scum etc then it'll have been worth it.

Although on the whole I think Extinction Rebellion do more harm than good to the climate movement.


Their actions over the past year have been on the whole less than effective (not that it's been an easy year for protests), though if they do more actions like this, which are clearly savvy enough to be supported by at least those not ensnared by the cult driven by these newspapers, then that will be better.

They've chosen a good target. They won't keep it up, but imagine if all of the UK was as free of this lot as Liverpool are of The Sun. I can only think of improvements.
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Doctor Blind
post Sep 6 2020, 04:19 PM
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Newspapers? I vaguely remember them, are people still buying them?

They'd have more impact blocking the manufacturers of VHS and Fax machines.

XR lost my support when they started jumping on tube trains outside Canning Town - literal green PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - disrupting working class people, many of which were probably trying to get home after a night shift.
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Chez Wombat
post Sep 6 2020, 04:37 PM
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I can get behind this one more than that utterly ridiculous delay of public transport a while back, especially as the only one it really hurts is Murdoch who I'm certainly not crying over.

Problem is, I feel it will again get twisted and get every single newspaper here (who clearly have a lot of mates high up) against them which will again, botch their overall message if their seen as an 'organised crime' group. I do support what they're going for here, but I have to agree their methods do more harm to the cause than good.
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Andrew.
post Sep 6 2020, 04:49 PM
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I do hope this kind of thing isn't a long term strategy. As I said, restricting the Sun is fine for one day or a weekend but any more than that and it's completely playing in to the Centre/Right's hands regarding free speech.
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Klaus
post Sep 6 2020, 08:53 PM
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Yeah, especially after that public transport protest, I have no respect for them. They have no idea what they’re doing, and every action they take is completely counter-productive.
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Iz~
post Sep 7 2020, 04:20 AM
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You know, I'd find it pretty easy to forgive an organisation whose top stated aim is 'stopping us all dying', especially if it were a decentralised organisation without much control over the actions of its members, and which denounced the individuals responsible for that specific faux-pas.

Especially if they'd literally just shown that their action had smartened up in the intervening year by directly targeting those actually causing the problems by downplaying the crisis. And it's not inconveniencing any members of the public, and as the state of British newspapers is so dire, it's surely one of the most popular targets they could have chosen. This is exactly the sort of action they should be taking and the only negative press they'll get out of it is because they're targeting the literal press.

Are they the most effective organisation? Certainly not. But they're a very useful existing structure for direct action to take place, and sometimes that is very much needed. I'd love to hear what any of you think would be a more effective way to tackle the problem that climate change narrative is easily downplayed by the media.
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Doctor Blind
post Sep 7 2020, 05:33 AM
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So because they are taking ANY action, no matter how ineffective or counterproductive, we're supposed to just support them because we've not done anything different?

I do not think you win arguments simply by silencing your opponent, and blocking the Murdoch press (though I fully support it) plays exactly into the hands of those they are trying to defeat. I said exactly the same thing for those involved with the defacing of Churchill's statue, as well as the cenotaph during the Black Lives Matter protests, and this way of putting your argument across ties in with the recent trend of no-platforming as a way of effectively only allowing free speech for people whose opinion you agree with. It plays entirely into the false narritive peddled by those on the right that well-meaning liberals are against free speech and gives the opponents an easy way to completely deflect the original purpose of the protest, and I'd argue is actually worse than not doing anything in the first place. I mean newspapers are hardly the most dominant form of media anymore and likely haven't been since the early-mid 2000s with readerships dwindling and basically nobody under the age of 30 ever having bought one. I mean most people get their news from social media..

I think... building a movement around a pre-existing political party that commits fully to tackling climate change, supports those businesses and industries that act and make every effort to become green, and boycotts those that don't has a lot more chance of succeeding.

If you want to win people round, and that I'd suggest is more effective than just highlighting your cause, then XR need to stop being so hostile, so condescending, and be understanding of those who they don't agree with in order to bring them on side. Right now they're coming across as a load of middle-class entitled brats who haven't done a days work in their life and think they know better than everyone else.
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Iz~
post Sep 7 2020, 08:11 AM
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I would indeed wholly prefer it if we could trust Labour (as the only relevant choice) to create a more palatable green program.

However while XR exists, we should be able to use it, as an organisation with a low barrier to entry, to create the sort of protests and visible mood that will indicate to those politicians making up policy in Labour that a green policy is something that cannot be ignored. I think we have to be able to judge them on the merit of each individual action rather than dismissing them because of past misjudgements. And this action is far more preferable than other actions they've done in the past.

Indeed I haven't seen all that much pushback from the media outside of the initial free speech salvo and a protestation from the Sun that they actually had an environment-positive article in the edition that was delayed, I think if they push the anti-XR narrative too hard on this one, it will become too obvious to their readers. Optics is definitely a good point and one I'm constantly concerned with, though at this point the most we can do against big media without them twisting the narrative against us is complain really loudly on Twitter and even then sometimes...

I definitely take your point about newspapers not being so dominant, I wonder if that was deliberate to avoid inconvenience? Not that I think XR have hackers in their ranks ready to go but while hacking websites would have been far more effective, it would have got so so much more 'stop protesting you're inconveniencing our lives' pushback and at that point I'd actually say the free speech warriors had a valid argument. This way it's more of a symbolic siding against them.

Oh and definitely several elements of XR are entitled and out of touch, I do think climate protesters need to be working with other activists and try not to come across so hard on one issue. Outreach to get on media programmes, make the 'your profits will be in danger if the environment collapses' arguments as well as criticise media conduct.
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Doctor Blind
post Sep 8 2020, 12:16 PM
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I didn't specifically mean the Labour Party, the Green Party could quite easily become the replacement for them as the progressive left in the next decade such as the SPD have been overtaken by the Green Party in Germany for example.

If they wanted to target the media they'd have been better going for the BBC - already a target of hate for the right - who are supposed to be a public service broadcaster but have an absolutely shocking record on political journalism (Laura Kuenssberg spreading fake news during the 2019 GE for example) and aren't much better on scientific journalism. They always put some nutjob climate denier up against climate scientists on discussions and debates as though this is some sort of balance, when there is a rare thing in science, a consensus that man-made climate change is happening and the opposite opinion is just crank nonsense. This isn't America, the general public do actually have some awareness of what's going on!! They are also the bottom feeders of what is so-called journalism these days with their constant use of 'churnalism' - meaning much of their output is led by the papers, owned by the billionaires who therefore set the agenda.
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