January 1995 |
Justice? Brighton’s Campaign in Defiance of the Criminal Injustice
Right to Protest
safe with the police – Shock!
Hollow victory for
animal rights activists?
Protests against live
animal exports continued this week round the country. Action is
again being stepped up at Shoreham after the Port Authority said
that live exports would continue even after the contract was up
on a day to day basis. In Brightlingsea the owner of the wharf was
apparently so fed up that he’s going to sell up, although some campaigners
are taking this with a pinch of salt. Even if it is sold it could
be bought by a large contractor who transport more animals more
Schnews rang round the
various police authorities asking them about police tactics and
whether or not they have been or would be using the Criminal Justice
Act against the protestors:
Brighton police told
us it doesn’t apply, while Essex said they’d use if it was necessary.
Plymouth reassured us that there was no need and that "we have
the democratic right to demonstrate and that right would never be
Maybe they are unaware
of the new powers the CJA gives them to stop gatherings of more
than 20 people, to arrest anyone who ‘disobeys an officer’ who has
reason to believe you are intending to go to a demonstration, or
to use ‘aggravated trespass’ for anyone protesting on private land.
The CJA isn’t just aimed
at squatters, travellers and ravers but everyone who steps out of
line. At the moment Hunt Sabs are getting it - it could you next.
Our rather concussed
roving reporter, fresh from the Shoreham battlefield was told by
someone at East Sussex Police that she was a ‘naive missy’ when
asking about police policy and some officers lack of numbers on
jackets. She was told "You’ve got a very funny idea of how
the police force works" before the phone was hung up!
Is this how they work?
One Shoreham demonstrator was separated from his 13 year old daughter
when the police moved in with batons failing to section off the
crowd. His daughter terrified by the actions of the police and surrounded
by people she didn’t know ran to a phone box and called the police
for advice... The next day her father received a call from his local
Social Services, telling him that he was likely to have his daughter
taken into care if he couldn’t look after her better than that!
In Brightlingsea Essex
Police are having trouble keeping their numbers on. Apparently they
are only held on by velcro, this being used to stop people grabbing
them by the lapels and swinging them around by their shoulders!
SMALL WORLD SEARCH
Small World, producers
of the underground video news journal UNDERCURRENTS, have renamed
their Rapid Response Unit the "Camcorder Action Network".
Small World are looking
for any active camcorders round the country. This is an opportunity
to film your campaign. Training is offered to anyone who has their
own camcorder, and also lots of advice with selling your footage
to national news networks.
Anyone on a long term
campaign could also use the editing suite to make a film for the
next undercurrents. Phone Paul or Corrie 071 272 3255.
HIGH LEVEL CRANE
OCCUPATION AGAINST M77
The No M11 Campaign this
week occupied a large crane in Hemel Hempstead unfurling a "Wimpey
Out of Pollok. No M77". Wimpey have taken the contract out
for the M77 which will destroy part of the Pollok Estate . Glasgow.
the largest urban green space in Europe. They promise this will
be the first of many actions against Wimpey and that we will not
be intimidated by the CJA. Up at the No M65 Cosmic Tree Village
in Lancashire, the evictions have been thrown out of court, as the
contractors haven’t bought all the land, which protesters are on
with the landowners’ permission. It now goes back to the High Court.
Results from the
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT
Hunt Sabs 95
Road Protestors 7
apply from Mar)
Remember: If you’re
gonna do it – do it Justice?
WED 2nd Feb Maidstone
Magistrates. 2 hunt sabs on trial for "ag trespass"
THUR 3rd Feb Bristol
Solidarity action for Cardiff Bay Barrage. phone Tania 0374 953160.
Legal Defence and Monitoring
Group Benefit. Schwartzeneggar/Ugly Beat/Scum of Toytown. Spin Chats
Palace, 42 Brooksbys Walk, Hackney
FRI 4th Feb Black and
White Unite Anti-Racist March 12pm Churchill Square, Brighton.
SUN 5th Feb Shoreham
Defence Meeting 2pm @ Brighton Unemployed Centre
SAT 11th Feb National
Demo against the CIA @ Victoria Square, Birmingham 021 4495452
(followed by allnighter with Zion Train, Test Dept., acid +
deep house, spacious dub, chill out space and cinema. £7conc/£8)
fastest with the facts, accurate with the truth!
@ The New Kensington, Kensington Gardens, Brighton. Every Friday
McDonalds in the
Whilst the Criminal Justice
Act seeks to criminalise dissent, other ways of silencing protest
are threats of legal action and financial ruin. Crap food giants
McDonalds has consistently silenced critics with legal writs, but
when two unemployed supporters of LONDON Greenpeace refused to back
down a David v Goliath battle began which looks set to become of
the longest libel trials ever.
The libel is alleged
to have occurred in 1989/90 when the defendants Helen Steel and
Dave Morris are said to have distributed the "What’s Wrong
with McDonalds" leaflet. In a highly contentious move Helen
and Dave were denied their right to trial by jury (McDonalds argued
that the issues were ‘too complex’ to allow their assessment by
a jury). The case is being heard by a single judge. Without legal
aid in libel cases, the defendants are forced to conduct their own
defence against McDonalds team of top lawyers. This involves not
Just speaking in court, but organisation and administration regarding
witnesses (170) and approx. 30,000 pages of documentation. The legal
system is complex and remote from the average person. The defendants
have had to learn as they have gone along - and learn fast!
THE TRIAL SO FAR
Helen and Dave believe
that free speech itself is on trial in the McLibel case – the right
of individuals to voice criticisms of powerful business interests.
That is why they are determined to fight on, despite overwhelming
GEMS FROM THE COURTROOM.
In Japan McDonald’s faced
a "fundamental challenge of establishing beef as a common food."
Their President Den Fujita, stated "the reason Japanese people
are so short and have yellow skins is because they have eaten nothing
but fish and rice for two thousand years…If we eat McDonald’s hamburgers
and potatoes for a thousand years we will become taller, our skin
become white and our hair blonde."
McDonald’s claim that
their food could be eaten as part of a balanced diet was, according
to Dr. Lobstein, "meaningless". He said "you could
eat a role of sellotape as part of a balanced diet...
McDonald’s tends to take
the basic food ingredients and add fat, salt and sugar, so encouraging
their customers to eat a worse diet"
A McDonald’s representative
responsible for the nutrition’s guides currently available, when
asked what ‘nutritious’ means, said: "Foods that contain nutrients."
Asked if there was any food he knew of that is not nutritious, said
"I do not know if you would call it food or not, but you could
put up an argument for black coffee or black tea or mineral water"
Asked about Coca Cola he replied "Coca Cola has a good source
of energy, no question of that." He wass then asked if he thought
it was nutritious, to which he stated "Yes, it can be."
The senior Vice-President of Marketing, USA, had a similar view
on what ‘nutritious’ meant. He also thought Coca Cola was nutritious,
he said that it was "providing water, and I think that is part
of a balanced diet"
Even Professor Wheelock
McDonalds’ consultant on nutrition, defined the word nutritious
to mean "contains nutrients." He then accepted that all
foods have nutrients. When asked to define junk food he said it
was "whatever a person doesn’t like" (In his case semolina).
With disbelief mounting in the courtroom, Richard Rampton (McDonalds
Q.C.) intervened to say that McDonald’s was not objecting to the
description of their food as ‘junk food.’
Behind The Arches (an
authorised book by McDonald’s, 1987), said McDonald’s "aimed
virtually all its advertising at children and young families"
and that he stated "we could teach the children that the hamburger
was something good."
Dr Tim Lobstein co-ordinator
of the Food Commission concluded that there were sections of the
population eating a very unbalanced diet and he was particularly
concerned by the diets of school children , and also by the expansion
of McDonald’s promotions in schools and hospitals.
McDonald’s Annual Report
records that in 1993 world-wide expenditure for advertising and
promotions totalled $1.4 billion, about 6% of sales.
Paul Preston, McDonald’s
UK President claimed that the character Ronald McDonald was intended
not to "sell food" to children, but to promote the "McDonalds
It was revealed in court
that Geoffrey Guiliano, the main Ronald McDonalds actor in the 1980’s
had quit and publicly apologised, stating "I brainwashed youngsters
into doing wrong. I want to say sorry to children everywhere for
selling out to concerns who make millions by murdering animals".
"Ronald loves McDonalds
and McDonald’s food. And so do children because they love Ronald.
Remember, children exert a phenomenal influence when it comes to
restaurant selection. This means that you should do everything you
can to appeal to children’s love for Ronald and McDonald’s."
(From the corporation’s official and confidential ‘operations manual).
Workers in the burger
chains are paid low wages. McDonald’s do not pay overtime rates
even when employees work very long hours. Pressure to keep profits
high and wage costs low result in understaffing, so staff have to
work harder and faster and as a consequence, accidents , particularly
burns, are common.
Paul Preston McDonald’s
UK president, said he did not consider the current starting wage
of £3.10 an hour for crew members to be low pay. However, when asked
he refused to reveal his own salary.
The McDonald’s senior
vice present ;"I can see [the dumping of waste] to be a benefit,
otherwise you will end up with lots of vast, empty gravel pits all
over the country.." Asked if he was asserting it was an environmental
benefit to dump waste in landfill sites, he stated. "It could
be yes, it is certainly not a problem."
Paul Preston asserted
that Styrofoam packaging is less environmentally damaging than using
plates, knives and forks. He also said that one million customers
each bought a soft drink, he would not expect more than l50 cups
to end up as litter. Photographs were then put to Mr. Preston, which
showed 27 pieces of McDonalds litter in one stretch of pavement
Dr. Neville Gregory,
McDonald’s expert witness on the rearing and slaughter of animals,
said that chickens used to make chicken McNuggets and McChicken
sandwiches were crammed into sheds, with less than the size of an
A4 sheet of paper per bird and no access today light. 44% of the
chickens had leg abnormalities and other health problems occurred.
Chicks rejected by the company were dumped into dust-bin sized containers
At age 6-7 weeks birds
were transported to the slaughter house, where they were hung upside
down before being electrically stunned in water. He said that the
company "had a very real feeling that animals should be kept
and slaughtered in the most humane way possible." He thought
battery cages were "petty comfortable"- lets put him in
The trial is now in its
7th month and is set to continue till the end of the year.
McDonald’s have not only
failed to shut their critics up, they have made everyone angrier
still. This April is the Corporation’s 40th Anniversary. The campaign
are asking for people to make it a highly memorable occasion. Please
support and prepare for world-wide protests.
If you wish to help in
any way, ring the McLibel office 0l7l 713 1269 (staffed daily).
"We must not tolerate
the truth being silenced by censorship or legal thuggery. In the
face of mass defiance, McDonalds will be helpless and their efforts
will have backfired. Other corporations will then get the message
not to follow in their footsteps, and it will be a victory for all
movements for justice."
All information from
McLibel Support Campaigns ‘Trial News" (Jan. 1995 issue).
For further copies of
the SchNEWS send stamps/donations to SchNEWS c/o on-the-fiddle P0
Box 2600 Brighton East Sussex .
Tel: (01273) 685913. Or pick one up @ Peace Centre, Gardener St,
Brighton and around
on-line next week
- promises promises!
get well soon Jinz!