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McLibel Support Campaign
P R E S S . R E L E A S E . 27/06/00
McDonald's and Globalisation On Trial In France
A historic trial is about to take place at Millau, France, on the 30th June/1st July. José Bové, spokesperson and founder of the French Peasant Confederation and 10 of his colleagues are accused of dismantling a McDonalds restaurant in the town in an anti-globalisation protest.
McLibel Support Campaign 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1, UK. Tel/Fax (020) 7713 1269 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Info at: www.mcspotlight.org ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 27th June 2000
Statement passed on from france.indymedia...
McDonald's and Globalisation On Trial In France
Best info can be had from the Confederation web site at http://www.confederationpaysanne.fr/
Also from the special independent media team set up to cover the case, at france.indymedia.org web
"Yes, this action was illegal, Yes, this is serious, and that's why I assume full responsibility. The only regret I have now is that I wasn't able to destroy more of it. These actions will stop when this mad logic comes to a halt." - José Bové.
He may not eat hormone beef, but he won't be eating his words when he stands trial on the 30th June.
But this is no local farmers battle. World attention will focus on Millau (20 000 popn) as the town is transformed into the next act in the anti globalisation battle. France's "Mini Seattle" will see the world's media jostle to gain a place in the crowded courtroom, as outside tens of thousands of supporters from France and around the world converge on Millau for two days of celebration and support. The first round in the propaganda battle has already been won. The prosecuting judge has agreed to extend the trial over two days allowing the glittering array defence witnesses to be heard.These include Lori Wallach, Director of Ralph Nader's Public Citizen Global Trade Watch, Bill Christianson from the U.S., National Family Farms Coalition, Susan George ATTAC France, Vandana Shiva from India, Rafael Alegria from the Honduras representing the global farmers coalition the Via Campesina or Paul Tran Van Tinh a former GATT negotiator for the European Union.
Effectively the trial has become show trial putting globalisation itself in the dock.
There is no let up in the campaign against McDonalds the symbol of market dictatureship. Speaking at a crowded meeting in Marseille, Bové opened a new line of attack by stating in no uncertain terms that McDo is no less than the official front, and main funder of the Church of Scientology in the U.S. Why shoud he do this the week before the trial?
This powerful merger of interests against Global Food, Global Finance and now Global Religion is set to gain new allies, and become more powerful, a phenomenon that the international media have not overlooked. BusinessWeek recently elevated Bové, this "sophisticated militant" into the ranks of the 50 "Stars of Europe". Sources close to the demonstration organisers say that among other major global networks, CBS will be beaming 60 minutes, live on the 1st July from Millau.
To counter the corporate media line, the weekend will also see the operational launch of the French Independant Media Centre, the latest in the growing network of webcasting alternative reporting centres, first set in motion by the success of the Seattle IndyMedia Centre. In record time a team of thirty has been assembled to produce alternative, multilingual coverage direct from Millau. The site already has many articles, videoa and audio clips in French and English, focusing on Millau.
We'll leave the last word with Bové, speaking at a previous trial he stated "Yes, this action was illegal, but I lay claim to it because it was legitimate. I don't demand clemency, but justice. Either we have acted in everyone's interest and you will acquit us, or we have shaken the establishment and in that case you will punish us."
Is this what they call a Win-Win situation for the Confederation Paysanne and the anti globalisation movement? Watch the http://france.indymedia.org space!
' Around the world there is a war being waged on society by a powerful minority who seek to control and use other people, animals and the planet in order to make profits for themselves. But many around the world are fighting back, for ecological sustainability and for freedom for all people and animals. Increasingly companies are turning to the courts to suppress this dissent and opposition. But the thousands of people around the world who participated in the McLibel battle have demonstrated that when people are organised and defiant these corporations do not succeed in getting everything their own way, and that court cases can instead be used as an opportunity to draw the issues to the attention of many more people.' - from the McLibel Support Campaign.