Worldwide Day of Action against McDonalds - Sunday 16th October

Burned McD

Image above actually from French riots of a few weeks later!

McDonalds Day 2005 Birmingham

In Birmingham, 13 campaigners met up at midday, and staged demos outside all 4 of McDiseased city centre stores.

The tour started with the McDevastation store on The Pallasades ramp, just off New Street. A large banner was unfolded and placards held aloft. Several McD`s staff were insistent that we couldn`t protest outside their store, but after 10 minutes, they came back informing us that we could protest afterall, so long as we didn`t block the doorway! Well, how kind of them to let us protest!! Did they really think we were going to move on just because they didn`t want us there?!!

After half an hour, the protest turned mobile as we marched down New Street, to the store on High Street. They seemed equally keen to see us! Whilst some protesters held up posters, others distributed `What`s wrong with McDonalds` and `go veggie` leaflets to the masses. Our next stop was the McDeath store inside Paradise Forum, where we exposed McDomineering for another half an hour.

The tour ended up at the McDeath store on Cherry Street, where we were soon joined by another 6 campaigners from Food Not Bombs, who set up a free food stall, right outside!! Free food on offer included veggie burgers, fruit and lots more. The protest continued alongside the food stall until 4pm. Well over 1,000 leaflets were handed out in total during another great day of action which will be repeated again soon!

For more information about the campaign against McDeath, including how campaigners won a mammoth court victory against them earlier this year, check out the McSpotlight website http://www.mcspotlight.org/
See also http://www.foodnotbombs.net/

West Midlands Animal Action
e-mail: wmids_animalaction@yahoo.co.uk
Homepage: http://www.geocities.com/wmids_animalaction/

-----

On October 16th 2005 Food Not Bombs participated with other groups in an action outside McDonalds near Pigeon Park (St. Phillip’s Cathedral) in Birmingham City Centre. Birmingham Food Not Bombs believes that food should be a right not a privilege and regularly serves free food in the city centre to anyone who wants it, homeless or otherwise. Food Not Bombs is an international movement and also campaigns on issues such as poverty, homelessness, war & military spending, the environment, and globalisation.

The day of action was to highlight a variety of issues concerning the McDonalds corporation. Free veggie-burgers and fruit were served right outside McDonalds to lure people away from buying McDonalds food, and to engage them in conversation about the hot McDonalds issues. The place looked quite empty and we had a lot of support from passers by and some McDonalds employees! To alleviate their poor customer turnout, we thought it would only be fair to lend them support by asking people to enjoy their veggie-burgers in the comfort of their restaurant..

http://www.mcspotlight.org/

“I feel badly about what I've done with young people. I was the happy face on something that was horrendous.�
-Geoffrey Gulliano, former Ronald McDonald who later embraced vegetarianism.
“For the last eight years I have documented coercion, threats, intimidation and manipulation by McDonald's and Leo Burnett Advertising against me due directly to my work as Ronald McDonald.� —Joe Maggard, former Ronald actor, 2003.

Although McDonalds are not the only culprit when it comes to the following issues, their profligate attitude and shameless advertising to young people has made them stand out from the crowd in the world of corporate misconduct..

Poverty
Water, energy, and land for crops are resources which can be used to alleviate poverty. Unfortunately the production of meat uses up to ten times the amount of these resources as the production of crops for human consumption. McDonalds are now exploiting markets in poorer countries which culturally do not consume large quantities of meat. This expansion is likely to exacerbate global poverty by increasing demand for these already scarce and controlled resources. There is often enough land and resources to feed the population of a poor country but national debt repayment obligations force these countries to grow cash crops (for export to wealthy countries) rather than food for the local people. Ethically, land should be used to feed people in poverty, not animals for people in rich countries.

Employment
Worldwide, McDonalds pay many of their workers a poor wage and are known for their hostility to trade unions. Even in the UK, the phrase ‘McJob’ has recently been coined to describe any boring, repetitive, soul-destroying, and poorly paid job. McDonalds could do much to alleviate poverty worldwide by paying their workers a decent wage.

The environment
The massive and unnecessary amount of (un-biodegradable) packaging used for McDonalds meals is pre-requisite for them to operate serving a high turnaround of customers. Not only is this bad for the environment but it fosters wasteful habits in children, who McDonalds relentlessly target with their advertising campaigns.

http://www.ronald.com/

Globalisation
The voracious spread of chain stores across the western world (in recent years this activity has been coined ‘globalisation’) has ousted many smaller businesses who cannot compete with mass advertising and the economies of scale which such large multi-national companies can benefit from. Although this is the result of free trade and competition, increasingly people are feeling that they have less consumer choice, and that their local community or city centre lacks character and individuality. We are seeing the bleaching of the human rainbow in our public spaces.

Healthy Eating
McDonalds advertising tries to purvey their food as healthy and ‘nutritious’ (all food is nutritious) and have recently started serving salads which ironically are almost as unhealthy as their burgers. A high fat diet is directly linked with cancer and heart disease. The concern is that consumers are lead to believe that eating McDonalds meals frequently can be ‘healthy’.

===================================================
Manchester:

updates from Manchester's anti-McDonalds weekend: critical mass and stink-bombs

On Friday evening, a critical mass of about 20-25 cyclists stopped at 2 McDonald's outlets for a little street dance to a mobile sound system. When they eventually drew the attention of the police to them, the cylists ended their tour with a dinner of delicious vegan burgers.

On Saturday lunch time, at least 3 (possibly more) McDonald's outlets in the city centre were stink-bombed. But McDonald's customers seemed to be surprisingly immune to the stench.

===================================================

McDonalds Day Nottingham 2005

McDonalds, Nottingham.

After the Critical Mass Bike Ride around Nottingham, a few folks went down to the local McDonalds, to hand out leaflets and the tell passers by, about the court success of the McLibel Two.

----

Day of Action against McDonald's

A bunch of people and Ronald McD himself, turned out to protest against McDonalds at the bottom of Exchange Walk in Nottingham. They bought banners, handed out leaflets, and informed the passin' public about the issues: nutrition [lack of it], environmental issues, fast food litter, their business practices and not least, workers rights ......

McDs leaflet: http://www.mcspotlight.org/campaigns/current/wwwmd-uk.pdf

===================================================

McDonalds Day Israel 2005

AntiMcDonald's Daze in Israel
16th October 2005

Some recent history, and a report of a highly successful day's protests

(for more pictures, see URL at the end)

McDonaldís has been met in Israel with a certain degree of resistance ever since it opened its first restaurant in Ramat-Gan (a Tel-Aviv suburb) in 1993, when a group of Anarchists chained themselves to the doors and blocked the entrance.

For some reason, antiMcDonaldís sentiments here have revolved almost exclusively around the issue of animal rights, and only in the last two years or so are we seeing ecological, consumerist & health-oriented groups joining the campaigns (the workers' angle is still missing, sadly).

In the early nineties, the "What's Wrong with McDonaldís?" leaflet was translated into Hebrew in a joint effort by the animal rights organization "Anonymous" (nowadays a deradicalized, mainstream, somewhat welfare-oriented organization) and an Anarchist group calling themselves simply "Anarchist Movement".

However, the International AntiMcDonaldís Day has been decently observed only in the last 4 years, mainly through the initiatives of the Tel-Aviv based group "One Struggle", a Human/Animal Rights Anarchist group quite similar in character to "Greenpeace London". This group used to hold a regular, weekly vigil in front of McDonaldís for over a year (quite an achievement in a place like this), and produced a better, more didactic version of the Hebrew AntiMcDonaldís flyer.

In 2003, One Struggle - with the help of other groups ñ organized a critical mass bike ride through central Tel-Aviv, carrying signs and stopping at various McDonaldís restaurants to leaflet passers-by. The bike ride, about 30 people strong, ended in a bigger demo outside a central McDonaldís restaurant, with 60-70 people carrying banners, signs, setting up literature tables and serving free vegan food.

The 2004 event, although better organized and including vigils in Israelís three main cities (Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem), saw a more or less equal amount of people take to the streets, but was almost unanimously ignored by all media (generally, it is worth noting that Israel is a very political place as far as conventional Left/Right or Nationalist politics are concerned, but it has a strong tendency to downplay and brush aside more global issues, like McDonaldís, which do not fit neatly into Israeli Left/Right categories).

In 2005, during the weekend of the 14th-16th of October, we organized the most successful Israeli antiMcDonaldís Day yet.

In Tel-Aviv, where the main event took place, we gathered at noon in the small garden on Shenkin st. - one of Tel Avivís central streets, packed with people on Friday afternoons ñ for a general antiMcDonaldís ìhappeningî. It included activities for kids (creative games, street theater), free screen printing shirts with antiMcDonaldís slogans, free vegan food, information stalls, a big picture gallery displaying the horrors of McDonaldís connection to factory farming, pollution etc, and more. After a couple of hours we marched ñ around 50-60 people - to the nearby McDonaldís restaurant on Shenkin st., with signs, bullhorns, drums, banners and festive costumes, and from there to a second McDonaldís at Dizengoff Square. The number of passers-by who asked questions and showed interest in our message was encouraging, and only a handful of people actually entered the restaurants while we demonstrated and handed out flyers outside.

After the Sabbath, on Sunday the 16th, there were antiMcDonaldís vigils in four different cities (Haifa, Jerusalem, Kfar Saba and Hertzliya, where local Green Party activists joined the AR activists). All vigils were well-attended, and coordinated by a new animal rights group called Shevi (acronym of ìAnimal Liberation Israelî). In the evening, there was free vegan food plus a screening of the documentary ìMcLibel 2005î with Hebrew subtitles at the Salon Mazal Radical Infoshop in central Tel Aviv, with a big turnout as well.

The most surprising aspect of the 2005 events, in complete contrast to previous years, was a lot of national media attention regarding these protests. The two major Israeli daily newspapers, Yediot Aharonot and Maíariv, both ran articles about the events and the general worldwide protests against McDonaldís, in their printed as well as online editions. Maíariv, the second largest newspaper in Israel, with hundreds of thousands of readers, even devoted the main article of its Business section, cover and all, to the protests. There were interviews with activists on television programs ñ including one on channel 2, Israelís leading channel ñ and also on several radio stations, including Galei Tzaíalís economic report (thatís the IDFís radio station and the most popular one in Israel).

We do not know what caused this minor media frenzy, but we tried our hardest to take advantage of it, and are satisfied that a record number of Israelies have now heard that there is indeed something very wrong with McDonaldís. The corporation, by the way, maintained a ìno commentî policy to all reporters regarding our actions and our claims.

All in all, we feel these events were fruitful, positive & enjoyable, and that a crystal-clear message of resistance to the McDonaldization of the planet was conveyed.

For pictures of the various Israeli 2005 vigils, flyers, posters, press cuttings etc.:
http://photobucket.com/albums/a100/xzoidbergx/Israel%20AntiMcDonalds%20D...

For a sample of Israeli mainstream mediaís report of the events:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3155577,00.html
(from the Yediot Aharonot site)

For more information, please contact One Struggle at:
vegan_politics@yahoo.com / http://www.onestruggle.org
or Shevi at:shevi_liberation@yahoo.com / http://www.free.org.il