Candlelit vigil outside the Daily Mail offices in London to commemorate the estimated half million people dying every year as a result of climate change. Photo: Still from video by IndyRikki media.
Occupy Daily Mail claim 'historic' climate win
27th October 2015
Climate protestors claimed a big win after a successful 48-hour vigil outside the Daily Mail's London offices with Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett that won wide support from the Mail's own journalists. More events will follow in the run up to COP21.
Daily Mail staff were very positive about the protest, saying that they fully agreed with us and that the Mail's climate denialism was awful. One came back later to say the 'Occupied Mail' was brilliant and a number of staff had posted it on their walls!
Media and climate activists have concluded a successful 48-hour vigil and protest outside the London HQ of the Daily Mail in Derry Street, South Kensington.
The aim of the protest was to draw attention to the role of just five media-owning billionaires - proprietors of the Mail, Sun, Times, Express, and Telegraph - in setting a 'climate change sceptic', and anti-renewable energy agenda in public and political discourse, so paving the way for the government's disastrous energy policies.
"While modest in numbers, this weekend's Occupy the Daily Mail - Climate Crisis Vigil was big in effect", said co-organiser Donnachadh McCarthy.
"We successfully established a tented Occupy and maintained it for the promised 48 hours over three days, with no arrests! Over 1,500 copies of the 'Occupied Daily Mail' were handed out to Daily Mail staff and members of the public.
"An amazing number of Daily Mail staff were very positive about the protest, saying that they fully agreed with us and that the Mail's climate denialism was awful. One staff member who took the Occupied Mail, came back later to say it was brilliant and a number of staff had posted it up on their office walls!
"Another staff member reported that the senior management were forced by the Occupy Vigil to email all staff to claim that they were taking climate change issue responsibly!"
Private meeting with Mail's managing editor
As a result of the protest the Managing Director of the Daily Mail, Charles Garside, invited McCarthy and Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett, a speaker at the event, into a private meeting to discuss the paper's coverage of the climate crisis, together with the Mail's environment correspondent Colin Fernandez.
During the meeting the two presented evidence of misleading and unscientific headlines, which the newspaper staff undertook to respond to. A candlelit silent vigil later followed to remember the people killed by climate change - which the UN currently estimates is nearly 500,000 a year.
"We believe this to have been an historic first time the managing editor of any national newspaper has invited Occupy to a direct meeting", said McCarthy.
"We also believe it is even more historic in that we believe it was also the first time any national party leader has met with the editor of any national newspaper to urge them to be pro-active and responsible in their coverage of the climate crisis."
Next - a 'Climate Crisis Media Project'
On the final evening the 'general assembly of protestors agreed that Occupy The Media Billionaires would continue staging actions tackling the billionaire owned press.
They also resolved to establish a 'Climate Crisis Media Project' to tackle the corrupt climate denialism endemic in all the newspapers owned by the five extremist right wing billionaires.
McCarthy's concluding message: "The media are crucial in the run-up to the crucial Paris climate crisis summit in December. The fossil fuel lobbyists, oil corporations and corrupt politicians are destroying any hope of meaningful climate crisis action in Britain with impunity, behind the protection of the right-wing media billionaires.
"We therefore desperately need the editors / owners of the big four corporate media corporations to support urgent action on the climate crisis to save Britain and the wider global environment."
"Huge thanks to everybody who helped organise and support and attend the Vigil, and especially to those who camped over-night and helped hold the space, in quite difficult circumstances. Yes We Did!! Yes We Can!!"
Video report by IndyRikki Media - 'sporadic independent radical journalism from London'.
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