Occupy Rupert Murdoch Week Closes Entrance to News HQ to Highlight the Right-Wing Media Billionaires’ Hijacking of Britain’s Democracy
About 50 Occupy Rupert Murdoch supporters have shut down the entrance to Rupert Murdoch’s News UK office in a peaceful Gandhian direct action. The action forms part of a week-long protest against the hi-jacking of Britain’s democracy by the five extremist, right-wing, tax-avoiding, media billionaires*.
One of the protestors, Donnachadh McCarthy, speaking at front of the entrance said:
“Occupy has closed the front door of News UK, Rupert Murdoch’s HQ, due to his war crimes, attacks on the poor, political blackmail and climate denial. It is time to end hijacking of Britain’s democracy by the five right-wing extremist billionaires.”
The week-long protest outside Rupert Murdoch’s new News UK HQ at the Mini-Shard, London Bridge, London from 23rd-29th March, 2015 has been calling for the endorsement of the draft Occupy Charter for a Free Democratic Press, by all the UK’s major party leaders, prior to the May general election.
The Occupy Rupert Murdoch Week spokesperson said “The Leveson inquiry not only revealed the callous invasion of the privacy of grieving families, through industrial scale hacking, but equally importantly exposed the fact that Britain’s politicians have been blackmailed and bullied by these media corporations for a generation.”
“The fourth estate is a crucial pillar of the UK’s democracy. It is time to remove these five extremist billionaires from our fourth estate and ensure the press reflects the needs of all the people and not just the 1% corporate billionaire class. We call on Ofcom to immediately declare all five to be not fit and proper persons to hold media proprietorships.”
Notes to Editors:
1] Occupy Rupert Murdoch Week is being staged by “Occupy the Media Billionaires”, an autonomous group formed from “Occupy Democracy”.
2] Full details about Occupy Rupert Murdoch Week available at www.occupythemedia.org.uk
3] *The five billionaires who control over 80% of the UK’s press, as well as vast tranches of our television stations, radio stations, news agencies, book publishers, cinema & TV production companies are:
Rupert Murdoch, News UK
Lord Rothermere, Daily Mail Group
Richard Desmond, The Express Group
The Barclay Brothers, The Telegraph Group
4] Occupy Rupert Murdoch Week will be launched following the presentation of a giant Arrest Warrant for Rupert Murdoch to his News UK HQ at 11am on Monday 23rd March.
The warrant will say that the crimes that Murdoch is wanted for include:
War Crimes, Political Blackmail, Phone Hacking, Tax-dodging.
Then each day will have a range of actions and protests outlining the crimes Murdoch and his fellow right-wing extremist media billionaires have committed on a daily theme.
These include crimes against:
The Environment, Poverty, Human Rights, Health and Privatisation, Democracy
On the Saturday morning this will culminate in a People’s Trial of Rupert Murdoch and on Saturday afternoon there will be a mass call-out and “Reclaim The Sun” rally surrounding the News HQ.
The final day, Sunday, will have a morning featuring the rich Indy alternative press that already exists and the afternoon will feature a closing musical celebration and closing ceremony.
5] For those unable to come to London, a range of non-violent direct actions that people can undertake themselves across the country will be launched at the beginning of the week.
Draft Occupy Charter for a Free Democratic Press
We, the people, deplore the fact that the UK’s democracy has been captured by 5 corrupt, right-wing, extremist media-billionaires. Their ownership of nearly all the UK’s television stations, news agencies, radio stations, cinemas, book publishers, TV companies, cinema companies and 80% of the UK’s newspapers, means that these 5 extremists control an unacceptable proportion of what Britons see, read or listen to.
This corrupt power has enslaved our politicians in all the major parties and as the Leveson inquiry showed, they have treasonously blackmailed the UK’s politicians for a generation.
We need a free democratic press, one that serves the 100% and not the 0.1%, recognising that it is essential for the creation of a Britain with true social, political and ecological justice.
We therefore call for:
- Ofcom to rule Murdoch, Rothermere, Desmond and Barclay Brothers ineligible to be media owners in the UK
- Maximum share of market for any one private corporation to be reduced to 10% and for any one individual (either solely or corporately) to be 5%.
- Major media companies should be owned by employee ownership trusts
- A Press Complaints Commission should be immediately established that is totally independent of the media, as it is successfully in Finland.
- Full trade-union rights should be allowed for all journalists and media workers.
- Media companies or owners with bank accounts in tax-havens to be barred from operating in the UK.
- An independent, diverse media to be part-funded by a levy on larger media company profits. This would include support for independent local and national media companies.
- An immediate boycott of News UK (The Sun/The Times/Sky), Daily Mail, The Express and Telegraph Groups and all other corporate media which do not conform to the spirit and letter of the articles in this charter.
- All institutional and other shareholders to divest their shareholdings from these corrupt corporations until such time as Item 1 has been met.
- People across the UK to stage their own local non-violent direct actions against these corporations and their papers/TV stations.
- Private corporate directors to be removed from the BBC Trust’s chair and board.