TO THE EDITOR
The making of the 'McLibel' documentary (Review 19.6.98) is an incredible story in itself, but most importantly it is a film that the public have a right to see. After all, the public are subjected to a deluge of McDonald's advertising. Franny Armstrong says that the judge ruled in McDonald's favour, but regarding it's core business practices he largely found for us - that the company 'exploits children', deceptively promotes its food as 'nutritious', pays low wages and is 'culpably responsible for cruelty to animals'.
We believe that this is the reason McDonald's abandoned all legal efforts at the end of the case to get any costs, damages or even - highly significantly - an injunction against the continuing leafletting.
Our upcoming Appeal will fundamentally challenge oppressive and unfair libel laws and their use as a form of mass censorship. Meanwhile, campaigners have bitten the bullet and refused to bow to these internationally discredited laws. About 3 million leaflets have been handed out in this country alone since the case was brought, over 600,000 of these since the case ended last June - and the comprehensive and globally accessible 'McSpotlight' Internet site containing all the criticisms attracts 2 million 'visits' each month.
We call on those in the media to defend public rights, and to ensure that documentaries such as 'McLibel' are shown, whatever the litigious record of those being scrutinised.
- McLibel Defendants
c/o London Greenpeace, 5 Caledonian Rd, London N1