Six climate activists have been arrested after protests in which manure was dumped outside newspaper offices in central London.
Seven tonnes of fertiliser was dumped outside the west London building that houses the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, i, Independent and Evening Standard. The offices of the Daily Telegraph at Victoria were also targeted.
Campaigners from Extinction Rebellion said they had singled out the Daily Mail because it “suppresses the truth from the public” on the climate emergency. A banner reading “Free the press” was also strung up on scaffolding outside Northcliffe House, the building that houses the newspaper.
The group also attempted to pour several tonnes of manure outside the Telegraph’s offices in central London, but were stopped by the police.
In a statement the environmental protest group said it wanted to send a message to “the four billionaire owners of 68% of the UK’s print media” and is demanding “an end to media corruption that suppresses the truth from the public for profit”.
Police said the group, which arrived about 6.40am on Sunday, emptied manure from a truck before climbing scaffolding on the outside of the building.
Five people were arrested for an offence under section 148 of the Highways Act. Four of them were also arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.
About 8am, a 54-year-old man attempted to empty manure outside the Telegraph offices on Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria.
“He was arrested for an offence under section 148 of the Highways Act and on suspicion of dangerous driving,” police said. All six remain in custody.
The environmental group launched a day of protest sharing photos and video on social media of protesters carrying placards and waving flags, marching through London and gathering in Parliament Square.
Speaking for the group, Gully Bujak said: “For the British public, who’ve seen the criminal behaviour of this government and their cronies throughout the pandemic, the conclusion must surely be clear: the arenas of power in this country are rotten, and where the billionaire-owned press is concerned, corruption is the business model.
“It’s time they cut the crap and stop acting as though they are providing a noble service to the public, while greenwashing the climate crisis and stoking the culture war to divide people.”
The XR action comes as the as the police tackled a number of different protests across London on Sunday.
Elsewhere, people walked along Regent Street during a #FreedomToDance march organised by Save Our Scene, in protest against the government’s treatment of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic.
Demonstrators marched from the BBC headquarters down to Parliament Square, in a bid to protest against Covid-19 restrictions on the hospitality industry.
In a statement shared on Instagram, Save Our Scene said: “We are representing thousands of musicians, events staff and venues tomorrow, so please remember that when you come.
“[Our] message to the government is to open the whole industry without any further delay, so we must communicate that without giving any reason to divert attention.”
On Saturday police arrested three people and three officers were injured during anti-lockdown protests on Saturday during which thousands of demonstrators gathered in central London and hundreds of tennis balls were launched at the Houses of Parliament.
Thousands of protesters – many carrying anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine placards – marched through London towards Parliament Square. They threw hundreds of tennis balls, some bearing messages, over the fences around the Houses of Parliament and let off flares and threw tennis balls outside Downing Street to chants of “shame on you” and boos directed at No 10.
Meanwhile, in Hyde Park, officers were photographed trying to remove anti-vaccine stickers from their vans.
The Met arrested 12 people in three raids across the capital as part of a crackdown before this weekend, saying it had “zero tolerance for disorder or criminality”.
Extinction Rebellion said four female members were arrested on Friday at one of its east London warehouses where they had been creating art for the Free the Press march on Sunday.