On 15th April 1995, there were INTERNATIONAL PROTESTS to mark the 40TH ANNIVERSARY of the opening of the WORLD'S FIRST STORE of the McDONALD'S CORPORATION, and to celebrate 10 years of co-ordinated international resistance to McDonald's.

There were actions in at least 20 countries including New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Poland, Denmark, Australia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Netherlands, Germany, Finland, USA and the UK though details of events in some countries are not known.


Helen Steel and Dave Morris, the Defendants in the McDonald's libel trial, were flown over by their US supporters to join an anti-birthday event outside the first store opened by the McDonald's Corporation, in Des Plaines, Illinois (near Chicago). About 40 demonstrators marched in a circle by the first store (now a museum), shouting slogans and carrying placards informing passers-by of McDonald's exploitation of people, animals and the environment. McDonald's cancelled special plans to open the museum on that day, effectively abandoning any anniversary celebrations. Beforehand, the protesters picketted a McDonald's in downtown Chicago and held a press conference at which Helen and Dave smashed a big birthday cake bedecked with 40 candles. "With this day of protests, people are passing judgment on 40 years of junk food, junk jobs, and the discarded mountains of just plain junk," Dave said. UPI and Reuters newsagencies reported the event as well as local media in Chicago. A filmcrew from Australia were taking pictures to incorporate in a 15 minute documentary being made for a current affairs programme in Australia. And another filmcrew also filmed the events for a documentary to be made in the UK.

There were also demonstrations in Washington DC, Detroit, New York, and possibly other towns.

UK - over 100 stores picketted

More than 120,000 leaflets were handed out across the UK, and some people returned bags of McDonald's litter to the company as part of the Operation 'Send-It-Back' campaign. At many stores, McDonald's workers were handed special leaflets expressing opposition to low pay and exploitation, and offering solidarity and encouragement to organise for their rights. Actions took place outside more than 100 stores in Glasgow, Derby, Cardiff, Brighton, Carlisle, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Taunton, Grimsby, Manchester, Hereford, Cambridge, Guernsey, Bristol, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Birmingham, Nottingham, Huddersfield, Swansea, Kettering, Dundee, Hull, London and many other towns. There were articles in the Guardian, the Observer, New Statesman (national newspapers and magazine), as well as TV coverage in London and reports in many local papers and on local radio/TV.


150 people marched through the centre of Brno handing out leaflets after which there was a benefit gig when 5 bands played and videos were shown.


In Finland, there were protests in Helsinki, Tampere, Lahti, Vantaa and Jyvaskyla. In Tampere, there were pickets outside three stores at which bags of McGarbage were returned. There were about 250 people at the demonstrations outside 6 stores in Helsinki. There was street theatre, anti-McDonald's songs, flags, bags of McGarbage, and 3,500 leaflets about the company were handed out.


Special leaflets to 'celebrate' McDonald's 40th birthday were handed out in Grenoble.


Under a banner reading "Bloody Birthday, McDeath", activists from "The Animals' Voice", "MUT - Menschenrecht und Tierrecht", and "NaJu - Nuturschutzjugend" were demonstrating for 10 hours in front of the Dieburg McDonald's. The manager tried to bribe them into silence with offers of free Big Macs, salads, and Cokes. But "No chance, Mr. Big Mac"!

1,500 leaflets were handed out outside McDonald's in Stuttgart; to create a little chaos, the protesters printed some coupons which promised people free french fries and free coca-cola. There were also actions in Goppingen and possibly other towns.


80 people demonstrated outside McDonald's headquarters and a store in Oslo, coordinated by a new group called McDonald's Boikotten. Plans were made for demonstrations in Tonsberg, Trondheim, Bergen, and another in Oslo during the summer.


Between 50 and 60 people marched with banners and placards along the Ramblas in the centre of Barcelona, handing out 2,000 leaflets. The McLibel video dubbed into Spanish was shown at a meal and discussion afterwards. There were also actions in Alicante, Valencia, Madrid, Valladolid, and Mallorca.


There was a demonstration in Geneva.