Extinction Rebellion activists have targeted News Corp by staging an overnight protest outside a printing press for The Scottish Sun.
The environmental campaigners attempted to disrupt the distribution of the newspaper by demonstrating outside Newsprinters’ gates within the Eurocentral industrial estate in North Lanarkshire.
Demonstrators held up banners emblazoned with “free the press” and “no to racist rhetoric”, along with mock newspapers criticising media bias.
Police Scotland said the protest was peaceful and no arrests were made.
Extinction Rebellion Glasgow activist Susanna Hotham, 27, said: “We are taking action to make a statement about the lack of democracy in a press majority-owned by billionaires.
“The Sun perpetuates a xenophobic, racist and divisive narrative to advance their own agenda, profiting off climate denialism and failing to acknowledge the climate emergency.
“The misinformation they spread has catastrophic effects for the communities affected by the rising temperatures, and cements the fate of the generations to come to live on an uninhabitable planet.”
The Extinction Rebellion Scotland Twitter account posted: “This escalation of our tactics attacks a core pillar of fossil fuel capitalism: A corrupt media owned by and run for the 1%, which feeds us lies about climate change, immigration and economics.
“We need a free press to tell the truth about the climate crisis, not one bound by billionaires. For one night, we are setting the agenda, not them.
“We’ve moved on from general disruption to target the institutions that are causing and covering up the climate and ecological emergency. The time for change is now.”
It accused the Rupert Murdoch-owned company of “downplaying” Australian bushfires in January and of “promoting the fossil fuel industry” in America, as well as portraying refugees and migrants “as a threat”.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “At around 10.30pm on Friday, September 4, officers were called to a report of a protest at Eurocentral.
“Officers attended and spoke to those in attendance. The protest was peaceful and there were no issues.”
The protest was one of three at News Corp print sites, with Extinction Rebellion also targeting Newsprinters in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, and Knowsley, near Liverpool on Friday.
At least 13 people are known to have been arrested during the Broxbourne demonstration, where Hertfordshire Police said delivery lorries had not been able to leave the site as of 6am on Saturday morning.
Newsprinters’ presses publish the Murdoch-owned News Corp’s titles including The Sun, The Times, The Sun on Sunday and The Sunday Times, as well as The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, and the London Evening Standard.
Newsprinters condemned the protests as an “attack on all of the free press” which had affected workers going about their jobs and others such as newsagents who face “financial penalty”.
The company said it had transferred printing to other sites, but that delays would occur in some deliveries of The Sun, The Times, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times.
A spokesman for Newsprinters said in a statement: “This attack on all of the free press impacted many workers going about their jobs.
“Overnight print workers, delivery drivers, wholesale workers and retail newsagents have faced delays and financial penalty.
“This is a matter for the police and the Home Office.
“Thanks to other industry partners, printing was transferred to other sites.
“We apologise sincerely to any readers of The Sun, The Times, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times who may be unable to buy their usual newspaper this morning due to late deliveries.”
Reacting to the protests, home secretary Priti Patel posted on Twitter: “This morning people across the country will be prevented from reading their newspaper because of the actions of Extinction Rebellion.
“This attack on our free press, society and democracy is completely unacceptable.”