Anger as cops fail to stop Extinction Rebellion's 'outrageous' printworks protest

COPS were branded "weak" today over their failure to stop Extinction Rebellion protests that blockaded printworks.

Anger grew as the eco-protesters were allowed to hold up printing in protests that lasted more than 12 hours.

The demonstration stopped papers from being delivered across the country this morning with cops only moving in this morning to make the majority of arrests.

More than 70 activists have so far been arrested after using bamboo contraptions to anchor themselves at the scene.

Boris Johnson today slammed the XR protests against the free press as "completely unacceptable" as newsagents were left frustrated with empty shelves.

But Brits today questioned why more had not been done last night to move the protesters as they blocked roads around printworks in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, Knowsley near Liverpool and close to Glasgow.

It comes as…

  • Boris Johnson today slammed the Extinction Rebellion protests as "completely unacceptable"
  • Dozens of protesters were arrested outside printworks after blockading the sites to stop papers from being delivered
  • Labour MP Dawn Butler sparked fury after praising the eco-warriors
  • Newsagents blasted the selfish protesters for slashing their sales with their "pointless" print blockade
  • The blockades were held in the middle of ten days of protests organists by the activists

Tory MP Conor Burns tweeted: "The near universal condemnation of Extinction Rebellion's blockade of hospitals and newspaper offices is welcome.

"But surely questions are where were the police? Why were they not cleared away? Why were they not arrested?

"Enforcement not condemnation is what the public expect."

And despite the protests across the country, the group were again allowed to gather outside Buckingham Palace for yet another demonstration disrupting the capital.

Others on Twitter voiced concerns, with one writing: "Weak police action allowed this to happen.

"These Chief of Police need checking out to see where their loyalties lay. Is it with Law and Order or is it with Extinction Rebellion."

Another added: "The leaders of Extinction Rebellion need to be rounded up and jailed for public order offences; they have been getting away with breaking the law far too long and the police should now act."

A third wrote: "It’s time for our police to enforce the law. The Britain-hating communist-funded terrorists of Extinction Rebellion need to have their funds, and access to social media, cut off. Politicians need to stop talking about the non-existent duty to 'facilitate protests' like this."

Police brought in cherry pickers this morning to move on some of the protesters who had glued themselves to the streets and used bamboo to lock themselves to vehicles.

Home Secretary Priti Patel this morning labelled the protests as an "attack on free press".

She said: "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."

Hertfordshire Police this morning confirmed 42 people had been arrested in Great Eastern Road, Waltham Cross, outside of the Newsprinters printing works.

Assistant Chief Constable Owen Weatherill said about 100 people had been reported at the scene last night, saying: "The inconsiderate actions of a few people have prevented businesses from operating.

"Protestors ignored our requests to move location, so we have taken robust action to enable the roads to be reopened and to remove the protestors causing obstructions."

Meanwhile Merseyside Police confirmed 30 people had been arrested, with the protest starting at 10pm before finally ending at 10.30am today.

Two vans and a boat were removed.

A spokesperson for Newsprinters said: "Overnight printing at two Newsprinters plants was disrupted by activity by Extinction Rebellion.

"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.

"Our teams are working to get newspapers delivered to retailers as soon as possible this morning.

"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."

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