30 May - 12 June 1996

Each week McSpotlight will bring you the latest news on worldwide protests and campaigning events against McDonald's and other multinationals.

Big Mac attacked over Bow drive-thru scheme

23rd May 1996
East London Advertiser

"Big Mac attacked over Bow drive-thru scheme - residents vow to fight burger giant's proposal for restaurant"

Angry Bow residents last night launched a Big Mac attack on fast food giant McDonald's which plans to build a burger bar on their doorsteps.

Locals are protesting against the firm's proposals for a drive-thru at the junction of Bow Road and Payne Road - near the Antics nightclub.

Parents fear their children will risk their lives dashing across the busy Bow Road roundabout to get to the restaurant, and are also worried by the extra traffic the drive-thru will attract.

One irate resident said "It seems the council will not take our objections seriously, so we are now planning a large protest at the site."

The application is expected to be discussed at the next meeting of the council's planning committee.

Netherlands McLibel benefit


There's going to be a benefit for McLibel in Utrecht (Netherlands) on 21st June 1996.

Het programma ziet er als volga uit:

  • KORT INFORMATIEGEDEELTE: 21.30 - 22.15 sprekerster, video.
  • FEESTGEDEELTE: 22.30 - 23.15 Grumba Dakadi, afrikaanse trommelmuziek; 23.15 - 03.00 Spetterende McLibel-disko.
    Plaats: ACU, Voorstraat 71, Utrecht. Zaal open: 21.00 uur. Inkom: fl.4,=. Voor meer informatie: De Voedselkoop, op woensdag-en zaterdagmiddag (030-2314590).

    Big Mac attacked in Serbo-Croatian

    11 May 1996

    Campaigners in Kraljevo and Belgrade (Serbia) have translated the "What's Wrong With McDonald's?" leaflet into Serbo-Croatian. On 11th May 1996, about 70 protesters held a picket in front of one of the six McDonald's stores in Belgrade, handing out 1,500 leaflets. They want to intensify and broaden their campaigning to include such corporations as Coca Cola and Nestle.

    Picket of McDonald's Barkingside

    3rd June 1996

    Protesters leafletted outside the store throughout the afternoon and early evening. McDonald's was holding a recruitment day at the store for a new "restaurant" opening shortly in Newbury Park.

    "McLash - 'They're ruining face of Britain'"

    31st May 1996
    Evening Post
    Nottingham, UK

    A Nottingham planning chief launched a scathing attack on burger giants McDonald's and blamed them for "ruining the face of Britain".

    City council planning committee vice-chairman Stuart Argyle accused them of: building "garish" restaurants; serving "mediocre" food, and spoiling the look of streets.

    Coun Argyle said: "They must be stopped before they ruin the face of Britain." He said stricter rules governing the size and type of signs being introduced into city streets should be introduced.

    Coun Argyle's outburst came during a development control committee meeting which considered McDonald's plan to build a drive-thru restaurant at Springfields Park, in Hucknall Lane, Bulwell.

    He was backed by Coun Noreen Baker, who said: "Children are encouraged to think that McDonald's is the absolute pinnacle of foods and better than mum's home cooking. This is wrong. They should be encouraged to eat things like fruit and vegetables."

    McDonald's were refused permission to build on the site last year because council officials said it would mean a loss of industrial land.

    Officers said a new survey of the area shows that objection is no longer valid, but councillors still deferred a decision on the amended plan to allow them more time to look at the new survey.

    A spokesman for McDonald's said: "We make every effort to blend in our outlets with the local area."

    There are seven restaurants in the Nottingham area, and the first opened in Clumber Street in June 1982.

    [Note: There was a picket of the Clumber Street McDonald's on Saturday 15th June.]

    Burger off McDonalds, says Chingford

    31st May 1996
    Waltham Forest Independent
    London, UK

    Fast food giants McDonald's have their eyes set on a site in Chingford for a new drive-thru restaurant - but residents could end up telling them to burger off. See this week's Chingford Guardian.

    Bus driver suspended for refusing to hurt a cow

    6th June 1996
    Los Angeles Times

    COSTA MESA -- A vegetarian Orange County bus driver has been suspended for, as he views it, refusing to hurt a cow.

    Bruce Anderson, a five-year veteran driver for the Orange County Transportation Authority, said Wednesday that he was ordered off his bus and put on unpaid suspension after refusing to hand out coupons to riders for free hamburgers at Carl's Jr. restaurants.

    He didn't expect to become a poster boy for vegetarianism when he went to work early Tuesday, but as he was bout to leave the depot, a supervisor gave him a stack of coupons to give passengers, each worth a free hamburger.

    The giveaway, Anderson was told, is part of a promotion to encourage people to take the bus by offering them free hamburgers each Tuesday through the month of June.

    The 38-year-old bus driver refused to take the coupons.

    "I told them that I don't eat dead cows and no one else needs to either," said Anderson, a strict vegetarian whose beliefs also preclude him from eating dairy products or wearing leather. "I told them that I wouldn't support Carl's Jr. in their slaughtering of cows."

    Transportation officials were not amused.

    Half an hour later, according to Anderson, transit authority officials met him at a bus stop with a replacement driver, ordered him off the bus in front of his passengers and suspended him indefinitely without pay for insubordination.

    Anderson makes $16.60 an hour.

    "It was embarrassing," Anderson said. "I'm paid to drive a bus, not sit there and hand out coupons for something I don't believe in."

    Anderson's employers refused to confirm his version of being forced off the bus, but have sent a letter informing him of a "hearing before discharge of disqualification."

    John Standiford, a spokesman for the authority, declined to discuss the incident. He did say, however, that "the passing out of coupons, in this case, is part of operating the bus. It's one of the many things that drivers do as part of their jobs, like handing out transfers or calling out stops. If drivers make conscious decisions not to do part of their jobs, they have to be held accountable."

    The suspended bus driver has already garnered the strong support of the animal rights group to which he belongs.

    "We think this [suspension] is completely out of bounds," said Ava Park, founder of Orange County People for Animals, a 2,300-member animal rights organization that is opposed to the slaughtering and consumption of animals for reasons of ethics and health.

    "It's a 1st Amendment issue," Park said. "You don't leave your ethics at the door when you go to work. He is being asked to pass out propaganda opposed to his ethical beliefs. This is bully-ism at its worst."

    Park said her group would do "whatever is necessary" to support the suspended driver, including eliciting the aid of other civil rights groups, initiating a legal challenge of the authority's action and accompanying him to his hearing today.

    Anderson said he is being back by the Teamsters Union Local 952. Union officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Carl's Jr. said the hamburger promotion would continue.

    "The decision to eat meat is a personal one," said Suzi Brown, company spokeswoman. "It's an unfortunate incident with this driver, but from what we understand, many of the other drivers are very excited and supportive of the program."

    Anderson said that as much as he wants to keep his job, he will never cave in to the hamburger interest.

    "What I did," he said, "probably saved at least half a cow."

    Ronald the Villain

    Protests in Bonn & Hamburg

    Recently, protesters from Animal Peace climbed onto the roofs of McDonald's stores in Bonn and Hamburg, draping banners across the store front. The slogan on their placards read "Don't believe Ronald McDonald, because he's a villain" (this rhymes in German: 'nicht' and 'wicht'!).

    Glastonbury gears up for Ronald

    9th June 1996
    Protest at opening of McDonald's on outskirts of Glastonbury, UK

    There were about 17 people at the demonstration, two people dressed as clowns - one on stilts. They leafletted for two and a half hours and spoke to some of the employees about why they were there. The manager came out and very nicely told them where they could stand to do their leafletting, so of course they completely ignored him. At the end, one of the protesters went inside and handed a petition of signatures to the manager.

    "Big Mac and cries"

    12th June 1996
    Evening Standard
    London, UK

    We know from his do overlooking Horseguards Parade that Michael Portillo's regard for his neighbours probably only rivals his love of foreign students. Now it's the turn of the gentlefolk in his Enfield Southgate constituency to suffer at the hands of those who bear his standard.

    Enfield Tories are selling off their Winchmore Hill HQ for a rumoured 350,000 pounds. This time the party's selling out to McDonald's. Locals now face the arrival of a Ronald McD drive-thru emporium. "It's horrifying," shrieks Lesley Newey, secretary of the local residents' association.

    "It's solely a matter for the Enfield Conservatives," says Portillo's spokeswoman.

    "He's happy to pass on the views of residents to the council." But doesn't it worry him, as a local resident? "Aha, he doesn't live in the constituency."

    "McDonald's snap up 1m Greengate pub"

    1st March 1996
    Barking, Dagenham & Ilford Herald
    London, UK

    McDonald's has finally confirmed it WILL open a takeaway restaurant in Newbury Park, a month after we revealed the news sparking off an angry response from residents.

    The new McDonald's will replace Newbury Park's now defunct landmark pub The Greengate in Horns Road after Bass Tavern accepted a one million pound offer. The restaurant, which will also encompass a drive-thru section, should open in May.

    Anita Shaer, of the Greengate Residents Association (GRA), told the Recorder: "We don't want it. We say no to McDonald's. We don't need another food outlet in this area."

    Residents nearby claim that the restaurant will create more congestion on Eastern Avenue and will eventually lead to an influx of large multi-stores, in turn devaluing their properties.

    Meanwhile, local councillors said they also foresaw problems with traffic congestion and litter.

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