19th September - 25th Septemeber

Each week McSpotlight will bring you the latest news on worldwide protests and campaigning events against McDonald's and other multinationals.

Daily Telegraph, UK;
19th September 1996


McDonald's yesterday pulled out of a bid to buy Michael Portillo's Conservative Association headquarters, after planning permission was rejected. McDonald's said it had dropped its appeal to the Environment Secretary "for commercial reasons".

(see:Labour burghers halt Portillo's Big Macs for more details)

Evening Standard, UK;
19th September 1996


McDonald's has given up its fight to convert Michael Portillo's Conservative Association's HQ into a drive-thru burger bar. A spokesman for McDonald's said: "We have looked at the feasibility of the restaurant on the basis of the costs of an appeal and decided not to go ahead." Peter Tasker, a vociferous, campaigner against the plans, said he was "surprised but elated" at the decision.

(see:Labour burghers halt Portillo's Big Macs for more details)

Bratislava, Slovak Republic;
17th May 1996

We don't wanna McDonald's!

McDonald's opened its first store in Bratislava (the second in the Slovak Republic) on 17th May. Dozens of activists from Sloboda Zvierat (Animal Freedom) and environmental groups gathered and held a protest. The reaction of the public to the demonstration was "startlingly positive" and the reaction of the McDonald's bosses "startlingly nervous and arrogant". The activists held many placards and banners (including one of a cow dripping with blood inside a bun) and dressed in various costumes including that of the Grim Reaper and a sinister-looking Ronald McDonald.

East Grinstead Courier, UK;
13th September 1996

BIG MAC GETS CLOSER - Town councillors give thumbs-up to White Lion plan despite protest move

The decision whether or not to sell the White Lion pub on London Road, East Grinstead, to McDonald's will be taken on Thursday, according to the directors. Meanwhile, the proposed McDonald's has been given the thumbs-up by East Grinstead Town Council's planning committee, despite strong objections from locals.

A group of protesters called The East Grinstead Campaign against the McDonald's Plan, is outraged that the town council has recommended approval for the fast food restaurant despite strong local feeling after a demonstration at the meeting on Monday night. "It is a dark day for democracy when many of its elected members can choose to ignore the overwhelming mood of residents," said coordinator Richard Tassell. "The truth is that McDonald's will sound a death knell for many of our struggling independent local businesses." The plans will now go before Mid-Sussex District Council planners, who will make the final decision.

East Grinstead Observer, UK;
11th September 1996


McDonald's won the first round of their battle to open up a restaurant in East Grinstead at a meeting of the town council planning committee on Monday night.

Councillors recommended approval for a plan which involves converting the White Lion pub in London Road into a drive-thru, despite objections from the East Grinstead Society and protesters against the scheme. Now the application will go to Mid Sussex District Council for consideration. Planning committee members were greeted by placard-waving protesters from the East Grinstead Campaign against the McDonald's Plan when they turned up at the meeting.

Inside, the council chamber was packed and the public were allowed to state their objections to the scheme before councillors discussed it. Campaign coordinator Richard Tassell said the demolition of the White Lion to make way for a restaurant was contrary to area planning and Dept of Environment policies, which say knocking down a building in a good state of repair is a waste of resources.

East Grinstead Society objections were:

Councillors agreed that they wanted the building preserved, and opted for a plan which kept the pub with minor modifications being made and just partial demolition at the rear.

After the meeting, campaigner Richard Tassell said "We will take our battle onto Mid Sussex District Council but we need help."

He said anyone wishing to assist or wanting copies of their factsheet and petition can contact the campaign on 01342-303166.

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