|experience:||Involved with legal disputes with McDonald's|
Over the past eleven years I have been involved in various activities and campaigns to change society so that people, animals and the planet we live on are not seen just as the means for a minority to make their profits.
I am not 'actuated by express malice', I am motivated to campaign
against McDonald's, and other multinationals, because of my love
for the planet we live on, and my love and respect for the people
and animals living on it, and because of my desire to see a world
free from exploitation and oppression.
[N.B. As part of their case, McDonald's alledge that the defendants are 'actuated by express malice']
(not available for this witness)
During 1989 & 1990 I attended a number of meetings of London Greenpeace and took part in some of the activities and events organised or discussed by the group. I had nothing whatsoever to do with the writing or production of the leaflet complained of in this action. When I first started attending London Greenpeace meetings the leaflet was already in circulation. I do not know who the author/s is/are.
McDonald's were and are just one of the many multinationals destroying the environment and exploiting people and animals. I had no particular grudge against McDonald's although I do find some of their propaganda and advertising particularly sickening. When I was informed of pickets of McDonald's stores and Head Office I decided to attend as it seemed that the aims of the campaign were consistent with my own.
I have attended a number of London Greenpeace meetings at 6 Endsleigh Street, London, WCl, and invariably there would be a collection of various leaflets in the centre of the table for anyone to take if they were interested. Anyone attending the meetings could put leaflets there. If I saw any leaflets there that I had not seen before then I would take a copy to read if it looked interesting.
I have also attended a number of meetings at the office of London Greenpeace at 5 Caledonian Roadf London, Nl. At the start of these meetings a sheet of paper would be handed round with the word `agenda' written at the top. Anyone could write on the paper anything which they wanted to talk about at the meeting, and following this the items would be gone through one by one.
London Greenpeace is an informal open collective. Anyone can attend meetings and suggest campaigns or actions to organise or get involved in, and anyone who wanted to would join in the discussion/and or campaign.
Attending pickets and handing out leaflets was the limit of my involvement in the campaign. The leaflets that I recall handing out were A5 size, and not the long leaflet that is the subject of this action. Since receiving the writ I have continued to hand out truthful and accurate leaflets about McDonald's as I feel it is important not to give in to this attempt by McDonald's at censorship, and also because I believe it is necessary to counter the mass of propaganda put out by McDonald's about how wonderful they think they are.
I have every reason to believe that the contents of the leaflet complained of are true.
I have seen the Government's Dietary Reference Values which state that no more than 33% of our intake of calories should come from fat, and no more than 10% from saturated fat.
I think it is extremely oppressive of McDonald's to try and force us to prove something that they know fine well is true.
This is just one obvious example of McDonald's throwing its weight around and trying to silence its critics, in the hope that because we have limited finances we will be unable to pay experts for reports, and consequently would 'lose' that point.
In addition I think it is true to say that children who have not participated in a certain event, or watched what other children have watched, or had the experiences that other children regularly have, can feel as if they are somehow different to others, and thus sometimes feel that they are not 'normal'.
Since 1982 I have watched the 'Animals Film' a number of times, and in this film shots of 'McDonaldland' are shown, and a representative of McDonald's states 'In McDonaldland there is a hamburger patch, the story opens with Ronald McDonald harvesting hamburgers from the hamburger patch' and 'we (i.e. McDonald's) feel children have a great deal of influence on their parents about where to go to eat, we are probably one of the largest childrens advertisers in the US, we spend the most money on childrens advertising'.
I have been to Sun Valley Poultry, who supply the Chicken used in McDonald's food products, and have taken photographs of the chickens kept there in broiler sheds. I have also been shown photographs of chickens from Sun Valley being transported in crates, by lorry, prior to slaughter, and have been told of some of the methods used by Sun Valley by first hand witnesses.
I consider that current factory farming and slaughter methods are cruel and that they are also unnecessary, and I consider that it is totally justifiable to call such methods 'torture and murder'. It is irrelevant that McDonald's neither own nor manage slaughterhouses, they place the orders with the firms that do it and so they are responsible.
In October 1990 I went into McDonald's in Seven Sisters Road and enquired about the rates of pay for new employees, the manager wrote the pay rates on the back of a Crew Information form.
I believe that it should be a fundamental right for any employee to be paid a decent wage, and to work in a safe environment without risks to health, and to be treated as a human being and not a robot. I also believe that people should be entitled to join trade unions without fear of losing their job or retribution by their employers.
I am not 'actuated by express malice', I am motivated to campaign against McDonald's, and other multinationals, because of my love for the planet we live on, and my love and respect for the people and animals living on it, and because of my desire to see a world free from exploitation and oppression.
|date signed:||July 12, 1993|
|status:||Appeared in court|
transcripts of court appearances: