McMadness in Christchurch

A group of Christchurch activists staged multiple demonstrations all over the city to mark the 20th annual Anti-McDonalds Day.

They hit six McDonalds in total, starting in Merivale (reputably because it was the first McDonalds to open in Christchurch) and ending in Central City, where they attracted a large crowd of onlookers.

Reactions from the public varied. One group of teenage boys threw eggs at an activist, while other individuals were extremely friendly and shared tales of how much they also disliked McDonalds. The majority of people simply read the leaflet protesters were distributing, entitled 'What's wrong with McDonalds?' which is available from www.mcspotlight.org. The leaflet summarised issues such as McDonalds exploitation of workers, destruction of the environment, false advertising and rampant animal abuse.

The overall effect to the multination was bound to be small at best, although protesters were satisfied to see that the management at one McDonalds outlet resorted to free giveaways on the street to entice customers back into their store. In the malls, especially Eastgate, people seemed either highly amused or stunned at the appearance of an unruly group of activists, some in clown masks, who waved placards, chanted slogans through two megaphones and loudly declared that 'in the interest of health and safely, all McDonalds customers should put down their burgers because they are soaked with the blood of the innocent.'

If the activists' intention was to disrupt business as usual, they certainly succeeded.