McLibel Support Campaign, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, UK|
Internet info at: http://www.McSpotlight.org/
Tel/Fax +44-(0)171 713 1269|
17th July 1997
NORTH LONDON RESIDENTS IN UPROAR
On 15 July 1997, 300 local residents packed out a church hall in Hornsey (in the Borough of Haringey, North London), up in arms at the proposed siting of a McDonald's drive-thru at the entrance to Alexandra Palace park. The public meeting was organised by the recently formed "Say No To McDonald's Campaign" (NOMAC). The threatened drive-thru was roundly condemned by all present for the resulting increased traffic, litter, exploitation of local children, low wage McJobs and general Corporate invasion of a fairly unspoiled and neighbourly community.
The campaign is supported by local residents' associations and other campaigns against unwanted local retail development. The McLibel Support Campaign has supplied NOMAC with material on campaigning and objecting to new stores, carrying out traffic surveys and so on. At the meeting, a report was given of the successful residents' opposition which forced McDonald's to scrap plans to open a new store at their European HQ in nearby East Finchley. McSpotlight was recommended as an invaluable source of news about global opposition to local stores, and the McLibel defendants, as Haringey residents themselves, were on hand to offer advice and encouragement - they were warmly applauded as an example of how ordinary people can stand up to corporations.
During the meeting, residents complained that McDonald's were giving out deceptive information about the proposal. One local resident related how McDonald's have publicly claimed that they could only find 10 people who "strongly objected" to the planned drive-thru. He called for a show of hands by those strongly objecting, which was met with a unanimous sea of hands. The resident then demanded McDonald's respect the wishes of the local community and withdraw their application.
Hundreds of residents have already filed official objections with Haringey Council Planning Department and many more have signed a protest petition.
Protests and publicity are planned to ensure that the scheme is rejected by the Planning Committee, and residents are digging in for what they realise could be a long and tough battle, but one which they are determined to win.