By Alex Bellos

The Guardian: December 9, 1995

IN WHAT is at least a weekly occurrence in Britain, McDonald's opened another restaurant on Wednesday, its 620th in the country, writes Alex Bellos.

As the champagne corks popped inside the London King's Cross branch, it was also being inaugurated outside - by the distribution of anti-McDonalds leaflets by London Greenpeace, a separate organisation from the international environmental group.

Far from having silenced critical voices, the McLibel case has breathed life into what was a dying campaign. Five years ago, before the writ arrived, London Greenpeace was winding down its anti-McDonald's drive. Now it is the unofficial coordinator of a global network of pressure groups against large corporations.

The McLibel Support Campaign coordinates publicity around the world and raises money for travel expenses for the dozens of defence witnesses.

This year protests were held outside McDonald's premises all over the world, from Sao Paulo and Athens to Trondheim and Auckland.

Dan Mills, a 27-year-old solicitor, works full time for the campaign out of a small flat - paid for by a benefactor - in central London. He says he receives calls from the international media every day. On the wall are cuttings from newspapers as diverse as the Wall Street Journal and the Trinidad Mirror. Seven countries in three continents have their own branches of the campaign and several countries have broadcast documentaries on the trial.

The MSC also organised the first "anti-corporations fayre" in October, which had representatives from groups campaigning against British Aerospace, Lloyds and Midland banks, Nestle, Holiday Inn and RTZ.

Mr Mills says: "McDonalds is a symbol. We think it is important to get across the message that the corporate system is not a good one."

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