Occupy to Deliver Arrest Warrant for Rupert Murdoch to News UK HQ – Monday, 23rd March
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This Monday morning, activists from the Occupy movement will deliver a giant arrest warrant detailing Rupert Murdoch’s crimes against democracy.
These crimes include:
War Crimes: All 175 of Rupert Murdoch’s global newspapers backed the disastrous illegal Iraq war.
Tax Avoidance: Murdoch’s News International has avoided billions of pounds in tax through industrial scale use of tax-havens.
Political Blackmail: The Leveson Inquiry revealed how News UK blackmailed an entire generation of British politicians, from all the major parties.
Phone Hacking: Grieving families of soldiers and parents of abducted children have had their phones hacked by Murdoch’s employees.
A spokesperson said “It is completely unacceptable that despite all his crimes against the UK’s democracy, Murdoch remains in power. It is high-time Ofcom barred him from our Fourth Estate.”
The action will launch a week-long Occupation outside Murdoch’s new News UK HQ at the Mini-Shard, London Bridge, SE1 (opposite London Bridge Station).
Occupy Rupert Murdoch week will protest the hijacking of Britain’s democracy by five extremist, right-wing, tax-avoiding, media-billionaires*.
It calls for the UK’s major party leaders to endorse the draft Occupy Charter for a Free Democratic Press, prior to the May general election.
An Occupy the Media Billionaires spokesperson said: “The Leveson Inquiry 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 not fit and proper persons to hold media proprietorships.
The massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich (5 families now own more than the 12.5 million poorest Britons) and the environmental destruction facilitated by these five media billionaires must be stopped.”
The week will culminate with a People’s Trial of Rupert Murdoch on the morning of Saturday (28th March) and on Saturday afternoon there is a mass call-out for a Reclaim The Sun Rally, to surround News HQ.
Notes to Editors:
1] Occupy Rupert Murdoch Week is being staged by “Occupy the Media Billionaires”, an autonomous group formed of “Occupy Democracy” itself a working group of “Occupy London”, the UK hub of the international Occupy movement.
2] Full details about Occupy Rupert Murdoch Week are 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:
1. Ofcom to rule Murdoch, Rothermere, Desmond and Barclay Brothers ineligible to be media owners in the UK
2. 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%.
3. Major media companies should be owned by employee ownership trusts
4. A Press Complaints Commission should be immediately established that is totally independent of the media, as it is successfully in Finland.
5. Full trade-union rights should be allowed for all journalists and media workers.
6. Media companies or owners with bank accounts in tax-havens to be barred from operating in the UK.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. All institutional and other shareholders to divest their shareholdings from these corrupt corporations until such time as Item 1 has been met.
10. People across the UK to stage their own local non-violent direct actions against these corporations and their papers/TV stations.
11. Private corporate directors to be removed from the BBC Trust’s chair and board.