Manchester rap group, LEVELZ, are leading a campaign to ban The Sun newspaper from the city calling it a:
Race baiting, poor hating, tax avoiding, elite protecting, phone hacking, election throwing, unity destroying, s**t shovel of lies
The group, made up of 14 MCs and DJs, made the demands while wearing masks in a two minute video released on their Facebook page on Saturday, where they created a bonfire out of back copies of The Sun.
The video opens with a group member saying they've taken all the copies of The Sun off the streets of Manchester, because they're sick of the "lies, upon lies, upon lies, upon lies" from by the paper.
It then shows a clip of a bonfire and the group burning all the copies, and saying their solution is to "burn the b**stards".
Throughout the video, a montage of front pages from the outlet are shown, including:
The group adds:
We're so use to rain in Manchester, so why do we need The Sun?
It's time for The Sun to set in Manchester.
The group have also launched the hashtag #BunTheSun:
In the video, the group tell The Sun "we're not inviting you into our city" calling on Mayor Andy Burnham to "Burn 'em".
A petition was launched in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack calling on the North West city to ban the paper.
The petition, which gathered thousands of signatories, accused the tabloid of "naked manipulation of tragic events to serve its own political purposes". Adding:
On the night of 22 May, an audience made up mostly of teenage girls was attacked with a bomb as they left the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester’s MEN Arena. The youngest victim to have been identified so far is 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos.
On a day set aside for mourning, with all political campaigns stood down, The Sun ran a story that was a naked manipulation of tragic events to serve its own political purposes. And just two years after it was ordered to place an apology to the Labour leader on its front page over another anti-Corbyn slur.
Friends and families of those affected, Mancunians and others have taken to social media to call for the boycott of The Sun. At a time where media and political regulators seem to be failing to uphold standards, consumers can apply real pressure. Simply by taking their custom elsewhere.
The paper hasn't been sold in nearby Liverpool since the late 80s following the coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, where 96 Liverpool fans tragically lost their lives. It's also been banned on a number of University campuses. Both Liverpool and Everton football clubs have banned journalists from the Murdoch-owned tabloid from reporting at their grounds, and fans from 70 different football clubs are currently campaigning for their local retailer to stop selling The Sun.
In addition, another petition has also been launched, urging London Mayor Sadiq Khan to ban the sales of the paper in London, following coverage of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
In the aftermath of the truly devastating Grenfell Tower tragedy, with people across the capital and indeed the whole country rallying round to offer support, The Sun have instead chosen to pursue an agenda of victim blaming and grotesque voyeurism.
The final straw though is surely the revelation that one of their journalists allegedly impersonated the relative of one of the victims to gain access to the hospital where some of the injured were being treated. [note, this allegation was later removed by the hospital]
This is way beyond the realms of what is acceptable in our society and is a vile, indefensible insult to everyone affected by this terrible event.
It is important to point out that The Sun denied that a journalist allegedly impersonated a friend of a victim of Grenfell to gain access to King's College Hospital.
In a statement the publisher said:
The Sun was in contact with one of the people injured in the Grenfell fire, who provided a detailed phone interview for the newspaper. We then visited him in hospital to get a further interview and photos. On arrival the Sun reporter and photographer made hospital staff aware that they were present and had been in touch with the contact. However we were informed the contact had changed his mind on the interview and the Sun promptly left the hospital. We refute any accusation that our employees acted inappropriately.
The hospital has since withdrawn the complaint alleging misconduct, saying that The Sun has apologised after "protocol for media visits to the hospital was not followed".
A spokesperson for King's College Hospital NHS foundation trust said:
They have apologised for the upset it caused and have agreed to follow established procedure in future. In light of the Sun’s apology, the trust has withdrawn its complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation.
indy100 has reached out to LEVELS, The Sun and Andy Burnham for comment.