Memories are long and feelings still run high in certain parts of Liverpool post-Hillsborough. Now there is a group of newsagents boycotting The Sun for its coverage. The tabloid wrongly blamed Liverpool football fans in banner headlines for the Hillsborough disaster 27 years ago. When the inquest jury found earlier this year that 96 had been unlawfully killed, The Sun chose not to feature the long-awaited result on its front page.
As this is being written, some 82 newsagents have stopped selling what many Liverpudlians label the ‘rag’ and have joined a public Facebook group called ‘Total eclipse of the S*n’. This pressure group has gained 13,000 members in six weeks. Among them is Dee Baker, Eastern News, who has had difficulty persuading Smiths News to stop supplying her. “We’d been saying for a good few years we didn’t want it. We only ever sold a few copies anyway. We had one customer spend over £7 on all our copies of it and he then set fire to them outside the shop.”
After the boycott started, Smiths said they would stop all Dee’s newspaper supplies if she cancelled The Sun. The NFRN intervened and the threat evaporated but Smiths still sends her copies, which she sends back. She’s reported it to the Federation again and I have also appealed to Smiths on her behalf.
It’s quite a colourful campaign and stickers, posters and banners have been appearing in shops, cabs, cafes and pubs. The window sign favoured by the newsagents is: We sell newspapers but we don’t sell The Sun.