The Attack of Big Mac



Robot Trashing Cars
"We've got word that a berzerko robot is attacking the Police station"
"It's Mac"

Jazz Music Outside McDonald's (Woolwich, South London, 20th Anniversary of Mac in the UK)

Excuse me. Do you have any sympathy with the protestors.

I'm sorry, you'll have to speak to one of the managers.

Footage of forests being cut

Juliet Gellatley , Viva
While I was with the Vegetarian Society we published an article in a magazine called GreenScene with the then lead singer of the Smiths, Morrissey. And he said that McDonald's destroyed the rainforest. And McDonald's basically tried to sue the Vegetarian Society for stating that. Obviously the problem with going ahead with the court case is that you're getting into costs that could go into millions of pounds when you're up against a company like that. And you need witnesses from South America and so on. And you've got to make the choice. So we decided that we would publicly apologise to McDonald's.


Robot firing gun at Teenage Mutant Turtles.

"He sure has changed from the Mac we used to know. I kind of like the old one better."

Vox-Pops in Street

I've always liked junk food 'cos I'm that type of person. I think it's really nice and it's filling.

Has it affected your view of McDonald's at all?

They're crap! I'm hungry that's why.

What do you think of the food?

2 Young boys:
Good. Pucker. Good food, man. Blinding. But Burger Kings better.


"I've got a feeling that Mac is purposely leaving a trail for us to follow."

Barbara Dinham. Transnational Information Centre, London. 1984 - 1989:
McDonald's was important because it was a leader in applying the Ford assembly-line tactics to the food industry. That basically meant looking at each task in the kitchen and how you could break it down into the smallest possible components so that somebody could be trained, you know, almost within an hour to do a very limited task.

Footage of McDonald's process in shop (speeded up)

Voice over (female worker):
There's always an atmosphere of high pressure, throught the day. Managers shouting at you. Machines bleeping at you when they're ready to be turned off. General noise and people saying the same things the whole time. It just takes over your whole life and if you're working there full time you become part of the machine.

Barbara Dinham:
So, we interviewed a lot of workers about the conditions of work; about pay, about trade union rights. And we published this as a booklet. And not long afterwards we received a letter from McDonald's saying that they were very unhappy about a lot of the material in the book, and they issued libel action. So we wrote to McDonald's and said that we were going to close and that we wouldn't - they could therefore do what they liked - we wouldn't be able to proceed with our defence.


Robot looking at trashed cars, saying "More targets! Wow, what a scene!"

Footage: of McD adverts and posters

Dan Mills, McLibel Support Campaign:
I think they are the first people who've stood up in this way and it's really wrong-footed McDonald's, because they never thought that the case would get this far. They thought that the members would stop distributing their leaflet and apologise.

Footage: High Court 1994

Protestor: Poisoning our bodies
Protestor:Censoring criticism
Protestor:Ripping off employees
Protestor:Destroying rainforests
Protestor:Ripping off their customers

Helen Steel: , Defendant
We felt it was important to defend freedom of speech. That people weren't continually silenced by McDonald's and other multinational companies who don't want the truth about their practices to be heard.


"I can't believe Mac would do this.

John Wadham. Liberty:
McDonald's have got thousands and thousands and thousands of pounds to throw at this case. We have two unemployed people who are doing an excellent job. But there's no way that they can meet the resources of McDonald's. They need to have Legal Aid for defamation cases or libel cases, particularly when individuals are up against the massive institution like McDonald's.

Dave Morris:, Defendant
McDonald's have sued us for saying that a diet high in fat, sugar and sodium and low in fibre - which describes a typical McDonald's meal - is linked to various diseases including heart disease and cancer. In fact, as we've gone through the witnesses and it's become clear that our position is the same as the World Health Organisation, they could do nothing but concede that our position was O.K., was correct. So, it was quite staggering what went on. Then, they attempted to shift the goal-posts and say that we had to prove that somebody has died of those diseases after eating a McDonald's meal, or a number of McDonald's meals. Which is, of course, completely absurd.


"He could self-destruct at any moment"

Footage: World Anti-McDonald's Day, October 15th (dumping garbage outside McDonald's HQ)

Helen Steel, Defendant:
The best thing about packaging was when Paul Preston claimed that if a million customers all bought a soft drink only a hundred to a hundred-and-fifty cups would end up as litter. You've seen the amount of litter that there is here today - it's just a joke! They've got absolutely - well, either they've got no idea or they're pretending to have no idea about the amount of litter that they create with their packaging.

Footage: Manager in suit picking up packs of garbage left on doorstep by protestors.

Dan Mills:, McLibel Support Campaing
We're also suing McDonald's for libel because in April of this year, McDonald's distributed a leaflet in all of their stores nationwide saying that their critics and in particular, Helen and Dave, were liars; and so we brought a counter-claim on that.


"Yo, bro'! Peace dude!"
"Peace dude!"
"Alright, gi'me three!"

Barbara Dinham:
Well I think they're very brave. I think they deserve to really win and I hope libel laws are changed as a result. Not many people have that dogged capacity to hang on and see it through to the end; and that's very important that they've done it.

Dave Morris:
It's a risk but everyone's got to decide what side they're on and whether they're going to stand up to oppression or whether they're going to accept it.

Helen Steel:
McDonald's are trying to silence the campaign against them, silence any criticism; so the most important thing really is that people carry on distributing information about McDonald's and in that respect the campaing has won, because people have refused to be intimidated and McDonald's have not succeeded in silencing people.


"Oh, no! The pizza! What a bummer. Who needs Mac to cause damage; we've got Michelangelo"


Don't ask us what the Teenage Mutant Turtles have got to do with anything
- we don't know either.