Protestors were out in force a day on from forming a blockade outside a McDonald’s burger factory in Scunthorpe — later update — until police intervened and disbanded the protest on Friday evening.
Animal Rebellion took to OSI Food Solutions at Luneburg Way on Thursday morning, committing to staying there until McDonald’s commits to going fully plant-based by 2025.
Protestors were camped there overnight and were still going strong at the time of reporting at midday on Friday, more than 24 hours after first setting up. Later in the afternoon, after an arrest, the protesters were removed.
FIRST ARRESTS (for real this time): after 40 hours and 6 million burgers blocked, the Animal Rebellion roof crew have finally been removed from the top of the Big Mac factory. Power to the rebels fighting for a #PlantBasedFoodSystem! pic.twitter.com/6eJMHyTqGU
— Animal Rebellion (@RebelsAnimal) July 16, 2021
The activists say the factory in Scunthorpe produces three million beef patties for McDonald’s every single day, and that is why they are “shutting down” the operation.
Around 50 people are camping out there according to Animal Rebellion, with a further 20 being locked inside as part of the blockade.
Campaigners have set up huge bamboo structures and a giant Happy Meal box to block the factory supply, and police have been in attendance trying to move the sculptures, but to no avail.
Things took quite a bizarre turn on Friday, as according to Animal Rebellion, an unmarked police car joined in the road blockade, prompting a removal truck to arrive in an attempt to move the vehicle.
Two protestors have also made it onto the roof of the factory, and police officers are trying to negotiate them down safely.
And there have also been reports of people setting up a counter protest, eating McDonald’s meals next to the demonstration.
A statement from the activists said they would be willing to stay on site for “as long as needed” even if massive disruption is caused.
The protest comes as part of calls for transition to a plant-based food system, and a spokesperson at the blockade told The Lincolnite on Thursday that the plan is to cause disruption to the burger supply chain.
Harley McDonald-Eckersall said: “We’re planning on being here for quite a while. Our plan is to disrupt the McDonald’s supply chain for as long as we can, to send the message about being plant-based.
“We’re asking McDonald’s to make a commitment to being plant-based by 2025. We’ll do anything to get our message across.”
A spokesperson for Humberside Police said: ” Officers remain present at a demonstration of around 50 people at a food distribution centre on Luneburg Way in Scunthorpe.
“Two protestors have taken to the roof of the building and we are negotiating with them in order to bring them safely down.
“Officers are in attendance to ensure people can go about their daily business unhindered as well as to protect the right of individuals to exercise their right to peaceful protest.
“The roads in and around the industrial estate remain open however we would ask that people avoid the area unless attending for work purposes.”
The Lincolnite is still waiting for a reply from OSI Food Solutions and McDonald’s about this.