McD: TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE CORPORATION Oct 12th - 21st (fwd)

The Anarchives (tao@lglobal.com)
Sun, 3 Nov 1996 18:10:00 +0000 (GMT)


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Date: Tue, 29 Oct 1996 21:45:10 GMT
From: dbriars@world.std.com
To: Multiple recipients of list ACTIV-L <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
Subject: McD: TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE CORPORATION Oct 12th - 21st

Subject: **TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE CORPORATION 12th - 21st October, 1996
Date: Oct.28, 1996
From: McLibel Support Campaign, London

McLibel Support Campaign
c/o 5 Caledonian Road
London N1 9DX
UK
Tel/Fax +44-(0)171 713 1269
For comprehensive information on the case and McDonald's (independent from
MSC and the McLibel=20
Two): http://www.McSpotlight.org/

TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE CORPORATION 12th - 21st October, 1996

12th October 1996, the fourth anniversary of the death by electrocution of a
McDonald's worker, was a DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH McDONALD'S WORKERS. On 16th
October, there were international protests to mark the 12th annual WORLD DAY
OF ACTION AGAINST McDONALD'S. On 21st October, the McLibel Defendants began
their CLOSING SPEECHES in the longest trial in British legal history.

DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH McDONALD'S WORKERS
12th October, 1996

Protests and leafletting at many regional locations around the UK took place
on the fourth anniversary of the death of Mark Hopkins, a worker
electrocuted at McDonald's Arndale store in Manchester. During the McLibel
Trial, Jill Barnes (McDonald's UK Safety Officer) was challenged by the
Defendants over a previously confidential internal Report into Mark's death.
The Report had not been disclosed at Mark's inquest and was only disclosed
by McDonald's to the Defendants days before Jill Barnes took the stand. The
inquest had decided that Mark's death was an 'accident'. But the McDonald's
Report had catalogued a number of company failures and problems, and had
made the damning conclusion: "Safety is not seen as being important at store
level". The discovery of the Report and other documents also not shown to
the inquest jury has lead the Hopkins' family to DEMAND THAT A NEW INQUEST
BE HELD. Legal submissions are currently being considered by the Coroner's
Court.

"I think the Report should have been put before the inquest. It may have
made a difference. I've always known there was something wrong with the
outcome of the inquest into my son's death. We haven't got peace of mind
and Mark can't rest in peace while this new evidence, which has come to
light during the libel trial, has not been seriously investigated. I won't
give up. We want a new inquest. We're not bitter against the company but
we want justice for our son and I won't rest until we get it." - Maureen=
Hopkins

More than 50 people attended the picket of McDonald's in Market Street,
Manchester, organised by Maureen Hopkins. They were outside the store for
two hours, handing out many leaflets. One demonstrator stood on the
pavement just by the door to the store shouting about the poor pay and
working conditions, about Mark's death, McDonald's hostility to trade
unions, and the McLibel case. The normally busy store never got more than
half full.
After a couple of hours, Maureen and all the demonstrators processed through
the streets to the Arndale Centre store where Mark was killed. McDonald's
managers formed a line in front of the store but Maureen just walked past,
and laid her wreath of 21 red roses. Lots of customers started asking
questions of Maureen and the other demonstrators, and many left the store in
sympathy with her and disgust at McDonald's. The protestors stayed there
for about another hour.

Many McDonald's stores around London were leafletted, and about 20
protestors gathered at McDonald's store in Leicester Square, Central London.
Most of the workers there were given special leaflets expressing opposition
to low pay and exploitation, and offering solidarity and encouragement to
organise for their rights. About 3,000 leaflets were handed out to the
public. One person was dressed as a McDonald's worker and was chained to a
large mock-up burger, symbolising McDonald's exploitation of workers.

"I want every McDonald's worker to stand up for their rights, which is why=
=20
I am backing this support campaign 100%. In this way, Mark's death will not
have been in vain." - Maureen Hopkins

WORLD DAY OF ACTION AGAINST McDONALD'S
16th October, 1996

October 16th 1996 was the 12th annual Worldwide Day of Action Against
McDonald's (also UN 'World Food Day'). Protests occurred at McDonald's
outlets around the world, with many people handing out the "What's Wrong
With McDonald's?" or similar leaflets. Reports are only now starting to
come in - these are some of the first:

UK - 250 OF McDONALD'S UK STORES LEAFLETTED
There was leafletting and protests outside approx. 250 of McDonald's UK
stores. In addition to leafletting the public with "What's Wrong With
McDonald's?" leaflets, at many stores McDonald's workers were handed special
leaflets expressing opposition to low pay and exploitation, and offering
solidarity and encouragement to organise for their rights. And thousands of
special leaflets for kids were distributed for the first time.
Approximately two million "What's Wrong With McDonald's?" leaflets have so
far been handed out on the streets in the UK since the writs were served on
the McLibel Two. McDonald's attempt to suppress freedom of speech has
completely backfired.

McDonald's European Headquarters, London - The 40 protesters included a
person dressed in a 'litter suit' made from discarded items of McDonald's
packaging, and a person dressed as a McDonald's worker, who was chained to a
large mock-up burger, symbolising McDonald's exploitation of workers. Bags
full of McDonald's litter were returned to the company to highlight the
problems of waste, pollution and litter caused by the company's excessive
packaging. Many of those present were also involved in protests at their
local stores around London.

Camden, London - On the eve of the World Day, McDonald's made their third
attempt to obtain late licences (extending the opening hours) from Camden
Council for two of their central London branches, and they were thwarted
once again. McDonald's spent thousands of pounds employing seven lawyers
and consultants to try to outwit a lone local resident and McLibel supporter
who objected to their late licence applications. McDonald's were forced to
admit that one of the stores had remained open after its licensing hours on
numerous occasions, in blatant disregard of the law. After 4 hours of
argument over McDonald's applications, McDonald's lawyer demanded a decision
on the late night licences from the council committee, threatening "We're
not going to wait forever", to which the committee chairman responded "In
that case, it could be no." Meanwhile, in a further embarrassment to the
company, McSpotlight activists were given permission to film the=
proceedings.

Oxford - 40 student demonstrators from Green Action and Earth First!
occupied the store for a time shouting "Stop McDonald's, Stop McLies" and
then continued the protest outside, handing out leaflets and holding banners
while one person played a drum.

Sheffield - Sheffield Children Against McDonald's (SCAM) held a picket,
displaying their banners and handing out 3,000 leaflets.

Hull - As part of the protest, free veggie burgers were given away.

Glasgow - During their pickets, protesters circulated a petition opposing
McDonald's attempts to open outlets in hospitals in and around the city.

Edinburgh - about 40 people from a wide range of groups distributed=
leaflets.

Leeds - Glossy coupons were handed out to the public by persons unknown,
stating that they were redeemable for free Big Macs. About 200 people
turned up at McDonald's for 'free' Big Macs but shortly after finding out
that the coupons were not valid, they were offered free veggie food outside
by the demonstrators. Forty people from Green Action held a lively picket
for 4 hours.

Greater Manchester - About 40 protesters paraded around McJunk stores in
central Manchester. A pantomine performed outside one branch featured
Reggie the Veggie juggling clown defending Daisy the Cow from an evil
chainsaw wielding Ronald McDonald. Bags of McDonald's litter collected from
the streets covered the frontage to the store. Stores in Chorlton, Wigan,
Bolton, Trafford, Salford and East Manchester were also picketted. Monthly
pickets are planned.

JAPAN - The day was marked in Japan with the appearance of two clowns in the
heart of Tokyo. The clowns, definitely no friends of arch-fiend Ronald
McDonald, entertained shoppers and revellers in the Shinjuku area during the
evening. Along the way they paid unannounced visits to two McDonalds
stores, presenting the delighted patrons with Japanese pamphlets outlining
the case against McDonalds and the trial of the McLibel Two.

SWEDEN - Leafletting, the serving of veggie burgers and other activities
took place in 14 towns and cities. Most of the protests were organised by
Ung Vanster (Young Left), Faltbiologerna (a green group), and a
newly-created network called Alla Mot McDonald's ("All against McDonald's").
In Stockholm, six stores were leafletted by over 50 people.

FRANCE Les Halles, Paris - 25 protesters held a demonstration outside a
McDonald's store. The protesters brought along healthy food of different
cuisines, which they displayed on a table in front of the store and shared
with passers-by. Four workers at the store came out and applauded what they
were doing, and the reactions of people in the street were overwhelmingly
positive.

PORTUGAL - There were demos in Carnaxide, Cascais (50 people), and a march
through the centre of Lisbon followed by the picket of a store.

AUSTRALIA - There were protests in the Blue Mountains (NSW) where there is a
strong campaign opposing McDonald's plans to build a store at Katoomba. Two
hundred people with banners and drums were at the demonstration in Melbourne
which lasted for 6 hours. Activists from Food Not Bombs gave out free
lentil burgers outside several stores in Sydney, and 20 protesters returned
sacks of McDonald's rubbish to the company's Head Office in Sydney.

USA & CANADA
There were protests in approx 30 towns and cities across North America.
Here are some of the more eventful actions:

Montreal, Quebec - A group of 50 to 100 people protested in front of an
outlet that had just opened on the site of the city's heritage mountain, the
Mount-Royal. Leaflets outlining 8 good reasons to stop going to McDonald's
were handed out all day to passers-by and would-be customers.

New York City - Several actions were held, one at the McDonald's near the
Empire State Building.

Rock 'N' Roll McDonald's, Chicago - the demonstrators were demanding that
the life-size statues of the Beatles in this outlet be removed on the
grounds that Paul & Linda McCartney have donated money to the McLibel
Campaign, and that both Paul McCartney and George Harrison are vegetarians.

Santa Cruz, California - Two activists scaled the store's roof to drop a
banner. Other activists locked onto chairs and tables inside the store with
kryptonite locks. Five activists were arrested and released less than 2
hours later. There was print and television coverage.

Minneapolis, Minnesota - Activists also took over the roof of a McDonald's
for about 2 hours. They used the "human octopus" - bikelocked together - to
frustrate the brutal police response. After trying several techniques, the
fire dept. was called in to cut activists apart. After spending all night
in jail, a judge let all those arrested go. The street around the store was
closed down when a news helicopter trying to film the scene apparently took
out a power wire. There was heavy news coverage, including television,
radio and print.

Ithaca, New York - An animal rights group, known as the "Band of Mercy,"
hung the banner: "McDeath: Killing Animals, the Earth and You". The action
received coverage on local television and print.

Bloomington, Indiana - Activists from a number of groups virtually closed
the local store down from Noon to 2 pm. McDonald's was forced to give free
food to some customers. There was television coverage locally.

Muncie, Indiana - Activists hung a banner from the local McDonald's reading:
"Special Today: McMurder Deluxe." Ironically, while the manager came out
and harangued the activists, the banner hung proudly behind him. Activists
repeatedly entered the store, leafleting all customers. This spirited
action also received substantial television coverage.

U.S. McLibel contact: Mike Durschmid +1-312 282 8236 & David Briars +1-802
586 9628

Other demonstrations that we know of occurred in:
Italy, Brazil, Ireland, Argentina, Slovak Republic, Germany, Poland, Norway,
New Zealand, Greece, Belgium, Spain, Finland, and various other countries.

If you know of any further protests against McDonald's in October (or at any
other time), we would be grateful if you could let us know about them.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. McLibel Support Campaign Press Office
PO Box 62 Phone/Fax 802-586-9628
Craftsbury VT 05826-0062 Email dbriars@world.std.com
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http://www.mcspotlight.org/
http://www.interlog.com/eye/Misc/McLibel
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