Earth Day protesters block New York Times printing facility's newspaper trucks

Friday, April 22, 2022
Protesters block newspaper trucks at New York Times printing facility in Queens
Derick Waller reports from College Point on the protest and resulting arrests.

COLLEGE POINT, Queens (WABC) -- Thirteen people were arrested after protestors engaged in a standoff with police outside the New York Times printing facility in Queens Friday.

They were aiming to block trucks full of newspapers from leaving the property in College Point, and officials say seven men and eight women were eventually taken into custody around 6 a.m.

Officers broke down a tripod apparatus that the protesters erected outside the facility. Other protesters were handcuffed together through metal barriers.

Nineteen received summonses for obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, and trespassing, and 13 of those people were arrested.

They were taken to the 109th Precinct for processing and were then released.

As a result of the protest, delivery delays were reported to subscribers of both the New York Times and other newspapers.

"They just wasted their time and a whole bunch of resources from New York City," newspaper delivery driver Garson Kannon said. "And if you want to help global warming, there's 200 trucks here running, dealing with this issue. We're not helping global warming right now."

The protesters were with a group called Extinction Rebellion that stages such demonstrations to call attention to the world's climate emergency.

In this case, they say the media is "failing to cover the climate emergency with the depth and frequency it warrants."

Scientists say climate change is already having an effect with rising sea levels, more intense droughts and storms, and they say it's only going to get worse.

"We're here to stop distribution of the New York Times and other affiliate papers," one protester, Will, said. "We don't believe that they're covering climate change well enough."

The New York Times prints numerous other newspapers at its 300,000 square foot plant, including the NY Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Newsday. They can print 80,000 newspapers hourly on each of seven large printing presses.

The Times also prints about 41% of its own newspapers there, making it by far their largest printing facility.

The New York Times issued the following statement:

"Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time and there is no national news organization that devotes more time, staff or resources to producing deeply reported coverage to help readers understand these issues than The New York Times. In the past year we've published more than 5,000 pieces of climate journalism, led by dedicated climate journalists working alongside photographers, video and data journalists, and Times colleagues on the ground worldwide to produce leading environmental journalism and climate investigations. While we fully support this group's right to express their point of view, even when we disagree with it as it relates to our coverage, disrupting our business operations and depriving people of critical information is not acceptable. We are working to notify and complete delivery to affected New York Times subscribers."

Saturday is Car-Free Earth Day, and the city is encouraging car owners to leave their cars parked and find some other way to get around.

Citi Bike is offering free one-day passes and Open Streets is back. More than 80 city streets will go car-free for the summer.

ALSO READ | Earth's forest cover could drop by half by 2100; NatGeo explores how humans can protect these trees

This Earth Day, National Geographic focused its lens on humanity's relationship with the world's 3 trillion trees and 10 billion acres of forest.


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