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Greenpeace stage McProtest at Oxford Road Restaurant…

Published on April 6th 2006.

Greenpeace have staged a ‘chicken-chain’ protest against the McDonald’s corporation at Oxford Road, Manchester.

The protest, which involved two people dressed as poultry chaining themselves to McDonald’s doors and chairs, started on Thursday morning rush-hour to attract the attention of commuters.

Greater Manchester Police were contacted, obviously alert to the threat of 'bird-flu' as they sent around twenty officers (some in full riot gear) to 'protect the public' and prevent the small group of protesters from chaining chicken-men to the entrance and to make sure McDonald’s customers were not hindered in buying their fast Mcfood.

The chicken-men were promptly arrested by police for 'aggravated trespass'. The remaining Greenpeace protesters, armed with leaflets and a large banner, were hoping to gather signatures and raise support for the ‘Trashing the Amazon for Fast Food’ campaign. “We’re demanding that McDonald’s and other UK fast food chains immediately stop buying meat products from animals fed on soya from the Amazon rainforest” said protester Abigail Pound, “McDonald’s also need to develop responsible animal feed supplies to eliminate the pressure on the world’s remaining ancient forests.”

The campaign started when Greenpeace researchers discovered new information regarding the Brazilian Soya industry, which is responsible for illegally clearing thousands of square miles of rainforest each year and is also involved in slavery and the invasion of indigenous peoples’ lands. Much of the Soya produced in the Amazon rainforest is used to feed animals in Europe.

The Greenpeace ‘crime file’ states; ‘Soya farming is one of the primary drivers of deforestation in the Amazon. In the last three years 70,000 km2 of the Amazon have been destroyed. This equates to six football pitches a minute. Or 12 pitches in the time it takes to cook a Chicken McNugget. Much of this destruction is due to the expansion of soya agriculture.’

Protester Abigail Pound said: “There are a number of similar protests happening today all around the country and it shows people do care as we’re getting so many signatures of support. McDonald’s and Cargill - the company which supplies their chicken, are responsible for a such a massive amount of devastation to the rainforest it needs to recognised, and these protests will continue until something is done.”

It seems Thursday was a bad day for the McDonald's corporation with the protests happening at Manchester, London, Leeds, Edinburgh, Bristol, Birmingham and Southampton, as well as Morgan Spulock's anti-McDonald's documentary Super Size Me being broadcast on Channel 4 to millions of people.

If you’re interested in find out more or becoming involved with the ‘McDonalds: We’re Trashing It’ campaign, you can check out the Greenpeace website by clicking here.

Stephen Fairbanks
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