Thirty-four climate activists demonstrated outside the New York Times print shop in College Point for six-and-a-half hours early Friday morning in an attempt to stop the paper’s Earth Day deliveries because they believe the coverage of the climate crisis by the Times does not go far enough.
They succeeded in disrupting deliveries of The Times and at least two other newspapers.
“As you can see from the movie ‘Don’t Look Up’, when it comes to the climate emergency in general, the corporate media fails to report on the climate emergency on a global scale. ‘she should have,’ a spokesperson for the Extinction Rebellion group, Mun Chong, told the Chronicle.
The factory is home to several other major newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Although an Extinction Rebellion press release suggests the group also intended to involve these two newspapers, Chong said the Times was the activists’ main target.
“Despite what they report in their news – which is very clearly that the fossil fuel industry has engaged in outright denial, or actually hindered real climate action in government because of their lobbying – despite knowing all of this, The New York Times is still actually has fossil fuel customers,” she explained. “And they’re not necessarily trying, through advertising, to sell us a product, but it sells us the idea that it’s the fossil fuel companies that are going to help us make the transition to a sustainable future.
Asked why the activists (at least two of whom are from Queens, hailing from Astoria and Forest Hills) chose to protest outside the establishment rather than outside the Times building in Manhattan, Chong said they were aimed at economically disrupting the newspaper’s operations.
And so they did: stores did not receive the newspaper and some Times subscribers received e-mails later that morning saying their copies would not be delivered until Saturday, due to a “transportation problem”.
Although Extinction Rebellion’s press release notes that the group intended to target only The Times, The Journal and USA Today, other newspapers printed at the facility, such as the New York Post, were also targeted. affected.
The Post also emailed print subscribers on Friday saying the papers would arrive Saturday, and was more specific than the Times as to why.
“As you may have seen in the news, last night there was a large protest outside the printing press where your newspaper is printed,” the email read. “Protesters stopped our drivers from leaving the facility, so we weren’t able to join you this morning.”
Sarah Kleinhandler, The Post’s vice president of marketing and fulfillment, added, “We are disappointed with the situation, but appreciate our readers’ understanding in this situation which was beyond our control.”
A Times spokesperson told the Post: “While we fully support this group’s right to express their views, even when we disagree with them regarding our coverage, disrupting our business operations and depriving people of critical information is not acceptable.”
According to Chong, 15 people were arrested by the New York Police Department and others were given tickets. The NYPD press office, on the other hand, said 19 summonses were issued and 13 were arrested and charged with obstructing government administration, trespassing and disorderly conduct. None of those arrested are from Queens; the group includes residents of New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Arizona and California.