As was reported yesterday, many fans have taken to suggest certain forms of protest against Ashley’s recent decision to ban the three local papers, the Chronicle, the Journal and the Sunday Sun, from St James’ Park. One of the forms of protest that were suggested was to bring in your own copy of one of these papers and wave them inside the ground as a sign of solidarity in defence of the freedom of the press.
The fans group who organised the protest march a number of weeks ago, which inadvertently led to Ashley taking the drastic and unwarranted action that he had taken in deciding to ban these newspapers, have spoken out in defence of such an active form of protest and have decided to lend their support to this campaign.
This is what Graeme Cansdale, a Time4Change representative had to say,
In light of NCJ Media’s coverage of the recent Time 4 Change protest march and the subsequent press ban from the club that the Newcastle Chronicle, The Journal and the Sunday Sun have received on the back of that coverage, it has come to our attention that various fans have suggested taking copies of The Chronicle or The Journal into Saturday’s game against Chelsea, and holding them in the direction of the directors box immediately before kick off as a sign of support for the freedom of the press in our city.
While Time 4 Change has had no part in organising this form of gesture of opposition to an attack upon press freedom, we wholeheartedly support it.
This move also has the backing of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust, true faith and The Mag who, along with Time 4 Change, feel that that there is a need to counter the bully boy tactics of this regime with a strong message of support and solidarity for the local press.
These are good words from Time4Change, showing that they are willing to step up and support the free press. For too long Ashley has had his own way, even through his attempts to manipulate and control the press, but this time he has gone too far. What is also interesting is that other prominent fans groups and fanzines are willing to lend their support as well, namely The Mag, True-Faith and the Newcastle United Supporter’s Trust.
Spread the word, make a change and send a message to Ashley that the bully boy tactics may have worked in the past, he may have forced his competitors out of business and ruled Newcastle United with an iron fist, but there is only so much that the people will be willing to take before they say “Enough is Enough” – Mike Ashley, that time is now.