News Shorts And Other Business
McLibel Appeal For Assistance
Squall 10, Summer 1995, pg. 8.
Two unwaged environmental activists are being sued by the McDonalds Corporation for distributing leaflets critical of their environmental, nutritional and employment record.
Although the largest of its kind, it is in fact one of many such actions initiated by the burger giants to stamp out all criticism.
McDonalds have hired top libel QC Richard Rampton to fight the case. The McLibel, two on the other hand, have no formal legal representation because libel suits do not qualify for legal aid. Rather than give in however, they have decided to fight the complex court case themselves, using their own resources.
In order to do so they are required to constantly analyse copious quantities of witness statements and court documents. They have a small but well organised support campaign but they need more support.
The work is vital because it has led to a full public exposure of some of the truths behind McDonalds’ friendly family fun image. For instance, one of McDonalds own scientific witnesses admitted in court that there is indeed a link between fast food and cancer. An actor who for many years played the part of the Ronald McDonald clown now says he was involved in the “brainwashing of children”. The $1.4 billion that McDonalds spend on advertising each year has ensured that Ronald the Clown is now second only to Santa Claus as the most famous celebrity amongst children in the United States. McDonalds have also finally admitted that they imported beef from Brazil (a rain-forest country) during the mid eighties; a fact they had previously denied.
These are just a few of revelations coming out of what looks set to be the longest libel trial in British legal history. But they need your support.
McDonalds makes $26 billion a year in profit, whilst the two co-defendants being sued by them receive £2,200 a year as UB40s; Richard Rampton QC earns £2,000 a day.
Funds are required for the huge amounts of administration, as well as for bringing authoritative witnesses to the high court on their behalf.
The McLibel Support Campaign needs money and help and can be contacted at No. 5, Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX - Tel/Fax: 0171 713 1269.
For the full list of Squall articles about the McLibel Trial click here