Activist glues himself to St Albans court dock during Extinction Rebellion trial

An Extinction Rebellion demonstration outside St Albans magistrates' court.

An Extinction Rebellion demonstration outside St Albans magistrates' court. - Credit: Extinction Rebellion St Albans

The first in a series of trials for 50 Extinction Rebellion members who blockaded Rupert Murdoch’s Broxbourne printworks got underway today, with one activist gluing himself to the dock.

Six people appeared at St Albans magistrates' court charged with obstruction of the highway during a protest in September 2020 that disrupted the distribution of newspapers including The Sun, The Times, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail. 

The six defendants, who are all charged with obstruction of the highway, are Eleanor McAree, Tim Speers, Liam Norton, Sally Davidson, Eleanor Bujak and James Ozden.  

Charges relate to the night of Friday September 4, when the group of Extinction Rebellion members blocked the roads leading to the Broxbourne printworks near Waltham Cross with vehicles, reinforced metal lock-ons and two bamboo tensegrity towers. Protesters displayed banners that read ‘Five Crooks Own our News’ and ‘Free the Truth’.  

The blockade continued until 11am the following day, when those activists who the police had still failed to remove came down from the trucks and bamboo scaffolds and were arrested. The action succeeded in preventing copies of various national newspapers from reaching the newsstands.  

Extinction Rebellion took the action to expose the failure of these publications to accurately report on the climate and ecological emergency, their divisive tactics, the consistent manipulation of the truth by their corporate owners to suit their own personal and political agendas, and the lack of public trust in our so-called “free press”.

A St Albans Extinction Rebellion spokesperson told the Herts Advertiser "Today, the trial of six Extinction Rebellion activists started at St Albans magistrates court.

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"The six were part of a group of over 50 which blockaded the Broxbourne printworks.  They did this to expose the chronic failure of the Murdoch press to properly report on the climate crisis.

"During the trial, one of the activists glued himself to the dock. The proceedings had to be adjourned to allow for his removal."