The Slatest

Police Arrest 70 Climate Change Protesters Outside New York Times Building

Activists from the group Extinction Rebellion block traffic on 8th Avenue in front of the New York Times building and the Port Authority Bus Terminal near Times Square in New York City on June 22, 2019.
Activists from the group Extinction Rebellion block traffic on 8th Avenue in front of the New York Times building and the Port Authority Bus Terminal near Times Square in New York City on June 22, 2019.
REUTERS/Jefferson Siegel

Seventy people were arrested outside the New York Times building Saturday afternoon after they briefly blocked traffic as part of a protest for more effective media coverage of climate change. A few protesters climbed onto the building itself to hang a banner that called for the use of the phrase “climate emergency” instead of “climate change.” The banner read “Climate change=mass murder,” but the word “change” was crossed out and replaced with “emergency.” A few protesters also climbed the Port Authority Bus Terminal building across the street and unfurled a banner that read “climate emergency.”

One protester who talked to the Guardian said that “we want the New York Times as well as all the other media to treat climate change as the crisis it is.” Demonstrators chanted “tell the truth” during the protest. The protesters were part of a group called Extinction Rebellion. Eve Mosher, a spokeswoman for the group, said the activist group is calling on the media to report on “the climate emergency” so that “people can start pushing for more radical responses.” Even though the Times does “good reporting” on the issue, it is “not treating it in the manner they should be.” Specifically, Mosher said, “they should be treating it like World War II” when “there were headlines every day.”

The New York Times pushed back against the protesters, suggesting they were not picking their targets correctly. “There is no national news organization that devotes more time, staff or resources to producing deeply reported coverage to help readers understand climate change than The New York Times,” the Times said in a statement that noted the paper published almost 800 articles on the issue last year. “We fully support this group’s right to express their point of view,” it added, “even when we disagree with it as it relates to our coverage.”