How can eco-activists halting the traffic on the M25 possibly threaten Rupert Murdoch so much that his newspapers decide to invent stories about them?


First published: Nov 2022.


T he Sun newspaper has admitted that it lied last Monday when it claimed that Just Stop Oil’s supporter, Roger Hallam, a Welsh environmental activist and co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, lives “in a £3,000-a-month” flat. It has thus agreed to publish a correction that it is actually a £250 per week flat.

Just Stop Oil, the eco-activist movement that demands that the government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK, commented that “the details of someone’s living arrangements seem trivial when set against the threat we face from climate heating.”

The now-deleted article. | Web Archives/The Sun, 7-Nov-2022

The corrected article. | The Sun, 7-Nov-2022

So, why would the Sun lie about someone facing criminal charges?

Billionaire Rupert Murdoch, the owner of News Corp and countless newspapers in the world including the Sun happens to sit on the Strategic Advisory Board of US energy firm Genie Energy. His son, James Murdoch, left News Corp because of his frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of climate change, particularly the misinformation.

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Genie Energy’s Strategic Advisory Board:
▫ Dick Cheney, former vice president of the USA
Rupert Murdoch, media mogul and chairman of News Corp
▫ James Woolsey, former CIA director
▫ Larry Summers, former head of the US Treasury
▫ Bill Richardson, former Governor of New Mexico, ex-ambassador to the UN and US Energy Secretary
▫ Mary Landrieu, former US Senator from Louisiana
▫ Michael Steinhardt, Wall Street investor
▫ Lord Jacob Rothschild, Chairman of the Rothschild group of companies

(Source: Yahoo! Finance)


Just Stop Oil say: “The Sun wants you to believe that Roger Hallam is living the life of Riley because people who work to expose the extreme danger we face are a direct threat to Rupert Murdoch’s business interests. It’s classic divide and rule. That’s why the Sun lied about Roger Hallam. That’s why it monsters and misrepresents the young people, mothers, grandmothers, builders, engineers and doctors, the everyday people of this country who are working to protect our rights and freedoms.”

The protest

Last week, eco-activists had climbed onto motorway gantries around the M25 in London in multiple locations as part of their campaign, causing the police to halt traffic for everyone’s safety.

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“As a young person the only future I see before me is one of mass famine, severe droughts, wildfires, floods and societal collapse. I understand people must be frustrated with us, and rightly so, but we have to disrupt daily life because we are hurtling towards climate catastrophe, yet the government continues to betray me, my generation and people in the global South by issuing new oil licenses.Phoebe Plummer, 21, a student from London.
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We need an emergency response to the climate crisis and the cost of living crisis right now – insulate our homes, nationalise and subsidise public transport, invest in renewable energy. Stop paying us lip service and do something meaningful: stop issuing new fossil fuel licenses now.”Tez Burns, 34, a bicycle mechanic from Swansea.

Just Stop Oil insist that these aren’t one-day events. “Expect us every day and anywhere. This is an act of resistance against a criminal government and their genocidal death project. Our supporters will be returning – today, tomorrow and the next day – and the next day after that – and every day until our demand is met: no new oil and gas in the UK.”

Eco-activists climbed onto motorway gantries around the M25. | Just Stop Oil

22 people charged

In a statement published on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police said:

“Three people have pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance following serious disruption to motorists on the M25. They are among 22 people charged as part of a joint operation involving the Metropolitan Police, Essex Police, Surrey Police, Kent Police and Hertfordshire Police.

“Eight people, who were charged with conspiracy to cause a public nuisance, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 8 November. They will next appear at Southwark Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 6 December.”

A police officer injured

During the protest on the M25, an Essex Police motorcycle officer was injured in a collision involving two lorries while he was working to keep people safe. The officer, who has been part of the Essex Police Roads Policing Unit for over twenty years, is now recovering from his injuries.

In a statement published on Friday, Essex Police reports that the officer is “a highly experienced officer and was equipped with the force’s latest motorcycle and protective clothing, which includes built-in airbags. The airbags were activated as he was thrown from his motorcycle during the incident, while he was responding to criminal actions by Just Stop Oil.”

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GOING FURTHER:

  • Just Stop Oil
  • Motorway disruption - three plead guilty at court | Metropolitan Police
  • Update on officer injured responding to M25 disruption | Essex Police
  • Just Stop Oil protesters in court on conspiracy charges after plotting to cause M25 chaos | ITV News
  • Who founded Just Stop Oil, the civil resistance climate group throwing soup at art? | Green Matters
  • Who is Roger Hallam, the man behind Just Stop Oil? | Reaction
  • Rupert Murdoch at 90: what now for the media mogul? | The Guardian







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