McDonalds statement on terrorist attacks in America and response from
Following is a statement from McDonalds regarding the terrorist attacks
in America, and a response from Glasgow MWR. Some of these comments may
be considered controversial, but as McDonald's took advantage of this
sad occasion to promote their views, McSpotlight thinks the workers deserve
a chance to reply.
1. Statement from McDonald's
'McDonalds Responds to
America's National Tragedy
Statement: Jack M. Greenberg,
chairman and CEO of McDonalds corporation
"We are all devastated
by yesterday's horrific acts of terrorism. I know I speak for everyone
at McDonalds when I say our thoughts and prayers go out to the families
and friends of all the victims of this national tragedy.
A catastrophe of this
magnitude is hard to comprehend, but we're all in this together as Americans.
That's why McDonalds is doing what we always do… we are helping our neighbours.
is contributing $1million to the humanitarian and relief effort and Ronald
McDonald House Charities is matching it with its own $1million donation.
Starting this Friday
and continuing for a month all customer donations through our Ronald McDonald
House restaurant canister programme in the US will be donated to the American
Red Cross to assist in this national emergency.
In New York City, from
our restaurants near the World Trade Centre sites we are serving food
to search and rescue teams, we are also bringing in two mobile McDonalds,
along with eight supply trucks to keep restaurant serving the tireless
in Baltimore/ Washington D.C. region are providing meals to the teams
working at the Pentagon. And in Somerset County, we are also supplying
food to the emergency crews there."'
2. Response from McDonald's Workers
Resistance (Glasgow, Scotland)
response was approved at Glasgow MWR's weekly meeting:
are giving some hamburgers away and they want the world to know. As an
unprecedented quantity of TV cameras descended upon Manhattan to beam
the tragic images around the world, two mobile McDonalds slipped on stage
right. They chucked in a million dollars as well, yeah, 15% of the days
advertising budget; McDonalds spends a million dollars on advertising
every three and a half hours.
of the initial crashes, political and corporate leaders were seeking to
use the tragic events to further their own agendas. Bush tried to whip
up patriotism and justify increased military spending. Blair spoke of
the "new evil" facing the world and talked of attacks on freedom and democracy.
McDonalds, of course, will use anything to sell burgers- the emotional
responses of two year olds to a clown, or the very real shock and sadness
the world feels at the devastation in America. On Friday, McDonalds staff
and customers, like much of Europe, stood in silent remembrance across
a continent. All very respectful, yet even here there is something disquieting.
was devastated by floods, where were the corporate donations? Where was
the mourning? Was climate change the "new evil" facing the world? The
world was silent.
the grief been for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi victims of sanctions
and bombardments? The world has been silent.
the condemnations been for the US bankrolled Israeli massacre of Palestinian
children, in a land where Palestinians earn an average of one twentieth
of the average Israeli wage? The US wont even discuss whether that constitutes
racism and the rest of the world has been largely silent.
more directly has Bin Laden sponsored the atrocities in America than the
US has sponsored the genocide perpetrated against the East Timorese? And
yet Britain has largely been silent, still arming the Indonesian regime.
For the victims
of the CIA trained Colombian death squads, where is the mourning? Where
is the denunciation?
What of the
1998 US bombing of a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan and of the thousands
thought to have died as a consequence? No shock, no mourning, not even
an investigation. The world was silent.
the protesters in Genoa as terrorists, but he was happy to shake hands
with Putin. Regarding the people of Chechnya, there was silence.
The CIA trained
and funded Islamic fundamentalists, including Bin Laden. It is not the
case that they gave assistance to Afghani freedom fighters who subsequently
'went bad'; they were funding fundamentalists in Afghanistan from before
the Soviet invasion and some of those they armed were at the time already
notorious for flinging acid in the face of any woman who refused to wear
the veil. But while it suited America, where was the support for the women
of Afghanistan? Who has mourned those executed by the Taliban? And if
more innocents are killed in US reprisals, will we see corporate donations
to the humanitarian relief effort? We can expect the world to be silent.
For the countless
dead of Sierra Leone, one million Rwandans, many Ugandans, Congolese,
Liberians, Tanzanians, Somalians, Eritreans, Ethiopians, Angolans, South
Americans and Namibians, there is silence. Let's rid the world of "evil
doers" but let's never stop selling guns.
terror strikes at the heart of America, there is a different silence.
Not this time the too familiar silence of indifference, but, rightly,
a silence of remembrance, of shock and sadness. The message from the west
to the rest of the world is abundantly clear- our lives are worth more
than yours. In such a world of inequality and racism, there can be no
all this got to do with McDonalds?
in America cannot be understood without reference to decades of US military
and political imperialism, which in turn cannot be divorced from the economic
imperialism epitomised by McDonalds. McDonalds do not share much with
Islamic fundamentalists, but they have one thing in common- both share
an intolerance towards other cultures and a disregard for diversity, both
seek to impose their version of the world on others. If you look deep
enough then it is apparent that the homogenised totality represented by
McDonalds is the result of generations of violence and continues to be
sustained by force. The capitalist Mcworld is now almost universal with
some Islamic countries amongst the rare exceptions. It is this that has
brought them, like Cuba, Nicaragua, and so many others, into this long
standing conflict with the US, not their catalogue of repressive practices.
Russia and China are playing the game now, so about their atrocities,
as with turkey, Israel, Colombia, Indonesia etc. there will be silence.
This war, like the mass bombing of Iraq, has nothing to do with freedom
and everything to do with economics, profits and the perpetual demand
for economic growth.
It was against
the background of these thoughts that we encountered the line: "That's
why McDonalds is doing what we always do… we are helping our neighbours",
and were provoked to write this response. In a week dominated by tragic
images, McDonalds still manage to produce something shockingly distasteful.
absolutely the horrific and senseless acts perpetrated in America, but
also we condemn US military imperialism and capitalist economic imperialism,
and we condemn all of them in the same breath, for to speak of one without
reference to the others is inadequate. McDonalds is part of the problem,
not the solution."
workers united are more possible than they can powerfully imagine!
PO Box 3828, Glasgow, G41 1YU