French Protestors Rally at McDonald's Site
- News for Anarchists & Activists:
French protesters rally at McDonald's site
Monday, August 13, 2001
MILLAU, France French farmer leader Jose Bove and 2,000
supporters gathered on Sunday outside the McDonald's
fast-food hut he trashed two years ago as a symbol of the
wrongs of globalisation.
The walrus-moustachioed Bove, still fighting a jail sentence
for the act that launched him as a star of the international
protest movement, drove by tractor to the restaurant in the
southern town of Millau sucking on his trademark drooping
"This is not an anniversary, unfortunately, because the
fight continues," he told reporters of punitive U.S. tariffs
on roquefort cheese and other luxury food items which
sparked the original attack, carried out with nine others.
Local authorities described the mood of the protesters, who
carried banners insisting "The world is not a product," as
relaxed. Debates and live music were planned in the evening,
with some participants expecting the event to last a few
Its doors closed, the McDonald's hut was guarded by a dozen
The U.S. tariffs, which French producers say threaten their
livelihood by preventing them from selling profitably to the
U.S. market, were imposed after the European Union refused
to lift a ban on North American hormone-treated beef.
Aside from the pungent blue-veined roquefort made from ewe's
milk, foie gras and truffles are also hit by the levies.
Bove, whose campaign against "la malbouffe" (lousy food) has
tapped into French concern that its gastronomic traditions
could be swept aside by multinational food giants, also used
the event to demand a complete ban on gene-modified crops in
"From midnight tonight, all open air experiments with GMOs
(genetically modified organisms) must stop," he said,
warning that his Confederation Paysanne farmers union would
destroy such crops if the government did not intervene.
French food safety agency AFSSA raised concern last month
about the production of GMOs, currently only permitted here
for experimental purposes, after it found traces of such
organisms that had entered fields of conventional crops.
A French appeals court in March ordered Bove to serve three
months in jail for the "dismantling" of the Millau
McDonald's in 1999, a ruling he has said he will appeal to
France's highest court. He said the action was in the
News for Anarchists & Activists:
"It's a political statement -- or, rather, an
*anti*-political statement. The symbol for *anarchy*!"
-- Batman, explaining the circle-A graffiti, in
_Detective Comics_ #608