Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Activists Claim Victory in the "McLibel" Case

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Activists Claim Victory in the "McLibel" Case

Article excerpt

LONDON (AP) -- Even though McDonald's Corp. opened nearly 6,000 restaurants in the meantime, two activists are claiming a moral victory -- if nothing else -- as their marathon libel fight with the hamburger giant simmers to a close.

The "McLibel" case, already in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest-running civil trial in British history, headed into closing arguments Monday.

This gives activists Dave Morris and Helen Steel one last shot at unmasking what they call the bogus persona of a grinning Ronald McDonald, put in place, they contend, to conceal the grubby face of a heartless capitalist. "We believe once you strip away the glossy image, the reality is poor quality, unhealthy foods, exploited workers, damage to the environment and the unethical influence over children, the most vulnerable sector of society," Morris said. McDonald's disputes this and says it has spent untold amounts of time and money -- some reports suggest more than $16 million -- to attack a pamphlet that probably would otherwise have gained little attention. Morris, an ex-postman who collects welfare checks, and Steel, a part-time bar worker, get up to six weeks to make their final arguments, followed by up to three weeks for McDonald's lawyer Richard Rampton. The judge is expected to rule by early next year. Ever since June 28, 1994, Morris and Steel have been defending themselves against the high-powered McDonald's legal team. The world's top hamburger chain claims the "McLibel II" defamed it by distributing a pamphlet entitled What's Wrong With McDonald's? Everything They Don't Want You To Know. Even though Morris and Steel call themselves outmatched underdogs fighting the case with no lawyers, they say the attention they have focused on McDonald's makes them winners regardlesss of the judge's verdict. "McDonald's brought the case to silence their critics, and because of our stance the opposite has in fact occurred," Morris said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.