TO ALL SUPPORTERS OF HELEN STEEL AND DAVE MORRIS (AND ALL THEY STAND FOR)
IN THE McLIBEL TRIAL
Throughout the months of the trial, I have been reminded of the old
saying, "You can't keep a hat pin in a cloth bag for very long - the point
is sure to come out." Like the hat pin, the truth of McDonald's business
practices - and the heartless, money-driven philosophy behind them - have
been exposed for all the world to see. Now, as the powerful, terrible saga
of BSE unfolds, the point of the pin has become a battering ram.
No matter what verdict is eventually handed down in the legal proceedings,
in the greater court of public opinion and in the eyes of the world, the
case has already been won. Corporate greed and carnivorous callousness have
been found guilty in the first degree.
Yet, such a victory can give little cause for joyous celebration. Behind
the legal wranglings lie the realities that megabusinesses like McDonald's
view animals, indigenous peoples and the natural world itself as raw
materials, to be ground up and turned into burgers and profits, regardless
of the cost to all our futures. Those who have stepped forward to support
the defense in this case have declared loudly that such evil and injustice
shall not stand.
Beyond the litigation and publicity, what the McLIBEL trial gives all of
us who care about truth and justice is hope. Hope that people who value
life, compassion, and all that is noble and good in the human spirit will
ultimately triumph over the forces of darkness and greed. The perseverance
of Helen and Dave and the many, many people who have rallied behind them,
recalls the motto of the famous American law-enforcement agency, the Texas
Rangers, who say, "There's no stopping a man who knows he's right - and
keeps on coming." (In these more enlightened times, that somewhat sexist
motto must be amended to include a woman who knows she's right, as well.
Even Texans now have to admit that.)
The anthropologist Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small
group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world - indeed, it's
the only thing that ever has."
Michael Klaper, M.D.