Seventy people went to the benefit held at the ACU, and about 500 guilders (200 pounds) was raised. Videos about McLibel and McSpotlight were shown, there was a raffle of anti-McD's items with the top prize of a free meal for two, vegan burgers and fruit-shakes were sold, and an African band and DJs played lots of music. On the day before the benefit, one of the organisers was interviewed live on Stadsomroep, the local radio station of Utrecht, along with a spokeswoman for McDonald's.
Many actions have taken place on the opening days of new stores. Actions that took place this year include:
In Helsinki, about 200 people marched on 13th April against the McMurderer's 41st birthday, and picketted 5 stores. The demonstration included street-theatre, live music, and over 4,000 leaflets were handed out! The demo was also in support of the McLibel Two, and there was a big banner telling about the McCensorship. On the actual birthday (15th April), about 20 activists distributed leaflets in front of three different stores and around the city centre.
On the international Earth Day, there was supposed to be the opening of another McJunk store in Helsinki, but they seemed to notice the bad timing and postponed the opening by two days. Activists demonstrated outside the store during its first two days of being open, after spreading ads about the demo and covering the neighbourhood with anti-McD's posters.
For more information contact:
Anti-McDonald's Group, PO Box 21, 00411 Helsinki, Finland. Tel/Fax +358-0- 345 5366. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On July 9th 1996, Liberation Collective in Portland, Oregon also took part in the nationwide demonstrations against McDonald's and their new connection to "Babe".
With extremely short notice we were able to gather only four activists to conduct the demonstration. Yet this proved to be a very educational and successful protest.
With a combination of handing out informational brochures about McDonald's and displaying a large McDeath banner it was truly a positive experience. We actually had one customer change her mind about eating at McDonald's after she learned what we were doing there. She pulled right back out of the parking lot saying, "Thank you for being here, I'll definitely think about it." Yet another individual approached us wanting advice on how to become vegetarian which we were more than happy to provide.
The media coverage was not that great but we did conduct two radio interviews on site about the situation.
Minutes after the demonstration was finished we got report of a bomb threat at another area McDonald's which closed down the store for over three hours. All in all it seemed like a successful day educating the public about the injustices of McDonald's.
On July 13, we participated in the national protest against McDonald's callous exploitation of the film BABE to sell their unhealthy food. Our own "Babe" begged people to not eat him and his friends - we distributed the Farm Sanctuary "Babe's Unhappy Meal" flyers and Bill Dollinger's excellent Babe coloring book.
McDonald's called the police, who rightly refused to intervene in our exercise of our first amendment rights. Many passing cars honked in support, and several people chose other lunch spots rather than pass our signs. One mother berated us for making her children cry (they read the coloring book) but was questioned why she allowed her children to eat unwholesome food by one of our members.
Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa USA) and McDonald's have arranged for the installation of a McDonald's in the historic Central Campus area of the university.
One of the main reasons cited in the decision to convert the "Hub" (a former train station and home to vending machines on campus since the 1950s) is the financial support being given to the University's Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management program. In return for this support (which will be a tax write-off for the donor) John Dasher, who own's other McDonald's in Ames, Iowa is being allowed to open another store in the heart of campus.
So far it seems like this installation is a fait d'accompli; the University Administration made up its mind about what to do first, and now is trying to ram it down the throats of the university community.
More information can be obtained from:
Iowa State Daily http://www.daily.iastate.edu
Go to the Archives and search since Spring of 1996 for McDonald's
This past spring, the Memorial Union was awarded the "vending" contract for the entire university (25,000 undergrads; 4,000 grads; 4,000 staff = 33,000). Shortly thereafter, the Union then reveals a proposal to include two McD's on campus, one in the Union, the other on central campus in a noncommercial zone next to the library.
The contract is expected to pay $3.5 million to the university during the course of the agreement (until 2001). Despite all this hoopla, no one on campus was consulted, questioned, or surveyed whether they wanted a McD's on campus. Literally everyone on campus (except administrators) are against the proposal. There has been a steady stream of letters to the editor and editorials in the papers against it. We had a protest rally with roughly 200 students, faculty and staff.
There was excellent coverage - front page news as well as coverage on the 1pm, 6pm, and 10pm news. There's a public forum this Tuesday that will give the public its first opportunity to question the administration's decision. On Thursday, the Iowa Board of Regents (educational governing board) will meet to approve the proposal.
We have prepared an 8 page newsletter for the Regents and the Iowa legislator to inform them of this scandal. It's up to them to see the light and make the right decision - not to approve.