Extinction Rebellion newspaper protest: Seventy-seven charged

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Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
XR protesters blocked roads to the presses

Seventy-seven people have been charged following protests at three printing presses owned by Rupert Murdoch's News UK.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists blocked access at Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, Knowsley in Merseyside and near Motherwell, North Lanarkshire.

About 80 people were arrested as police cleared the sites on Saturday.

The 77 charged were allegedly involved in the protests on Friday night in Broxbourne and Knowsley.

Protesters targeted presses which print the Rupert Murdoch-owned titles including The Sun, The Times, The Sun on Sunday, The Sunday Times and The Scottish Sun.

They also print the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday and the London Evening Standard.

Demonstrators accused the papers of failing to report on climate change.

Image caption,
Protesters at the Knowsley site had been cleared by about 10:30 BST on Saturday

XR used vehicles to block roads to the printing plants, while individual protesters chained themselves to structures.

Vans were covered with banners with messages including "Free the truth" and "Refugees are welcome here".

Hertfordshire Police have charged 51 people with obstruction of the highway following the XR protest at the Broxbourne site.

Two have been remanded in custody to appear before court on Monday.

The other 49 have been released on bail on condition they do not go within 100m (328ft) of the boundary of any Newsprinters Ltd premises or attend any XR protests in the next seven days.

Thirty protesters were also arrested by Merseyside Police at the Knowsley plant.

Twenty-six of those, aged between 19 and 60 have been charged with aggravated trespass.

They have all been granted bail under the condition they do not enter Merseyside or contact any News International employees, and are due to appear at Liverpool, Knowsley and St Helens Magistrates' Court on 8 and 13 January.

Image source, XR Glasgow
Image caption,
A protest near Motherwell passed peacefully with no arrests, police said

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