14 arrests after animal rights activists block McDonald’s depots

Police have arrested 14 people after animal rights activists blocked access to four McDonald’s distribution centers across the UK.

Animal Rebellion used vehicles and bamboo structures to prevent trucks from leaving depots at Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Coventry and Heywood in Greater Manchester on Saturday.

The group is asking McDonald’s to commit to going all-plant by 2025.

Hampshire Police said officers arrested eight people on suspicion of aggravated trespassing in connection with the protest at an industrial estate near Houndmills Road in Basingstoke.

The seven women and one man, aged 18 to 51, remain in detention.

Chief Inspector Matt Reeves said: “Everyone has the right to freedom of speech and protest, however officers will take the necessary action against the few who deliberately choose to act outside the law. “

Hertfordshire Police said six people were also arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespassing, criminal damage and intimidating behavior.

Animal Rebellion protesters hang from a bamboo structure outside a McDonald’s distribution site in Hemel Hempstead (Yui Mok / PA)

Animal Rebellion spokesman James Ozden said protests in Coventry and Heywood voluntarily ended at 10 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Sunday, respectively.

The demonstration in Hemel Hempstead was cleared by police around 3 a.m. while the demonstration in Baskingstoke ended around 2 a.m.

Mr Ozden said around 100 people took part in the protests and said the action disrupted around 1,900 trucks.

“We also received a report from someone in Manchester that they experienced limited McDonald’s breakfast items due to the protest,” Mr Ozden said.

Greater Manchester Police and West Midlands Police said they had made no arrests.

A spokesperson for McDonald’s in the UK said: “Our distribution centers have reopened and are now back to deliver to our restaurants.”

Mr Ozden said the action aims to criticize the animal agriculture industry for its role in the global climate crisis.

He said: “The meat and dairy industry is destroying our planet: causing huge amounts of deforestation of the rainforest, emitting immense amounts of greenhouse gases and killing billions. animals every year.

“The only sustainable and realistic way to feed 10 billion people is to use a plant-based food system.

“Organic, outdoor and ‘sustainable’ animal-based options are just not enough.”

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