A four-day protest outside a McDonald’s burger factory in Scunthorpe saw seven Animal Rebellion activists arrested and charged by police, who finally managed to bring the blockade to a halt.
The anti-speciesist movement took to OSI Food Solutions at Luneburg Way on Thursday, July 15, vowing not to leave until McDonald’s vowed to go entirely plant-based by 2025.
The protest saw around 50 activists join a demonstration to ‘raise the alarm’ about damages caused by animal agriculture, choosing the Scunthorpe factory as it is believed to produce three million patties a day for McDonald’s burgers.
The group claimed to have disrupted the distribution of nine million patties through the protest.
The plan was to disrupt the supply chain of the fast food company in an attempt to force action, and though McDonald’s did not pledge to anything, the factory was unable to operate on Thursday and Friday as a result of the protest.
Bamboo tripods were put up outside the factory and protestors were camping in their dozens, refusing to move.
The blockade eventually came to an end at 12.40pm on Sunday when police took down an unoccupied bamboo tripod and eventually convinced protestors to leave.
The four-day protest caused a lot of controversy in the area, and some people even turned up eating McDonald’s as a counter-protest, while the Animal Rebellion activists camped outside from Thursday until Sunday.
Police reported that all protests were held peacefully, but a total of seven people were arrested and charged on suspicion of a number of offences.
All seven were charged with S241 of the Trade Union Act, which relates to preventing people from leaving a site, while four were charged with obstructing the highway and eleven summons were issued.
Two rebels that made it onto the factory roof before being negotiated down by officers, have now been charged with aggravated trespass.
Police also stated that one man, who is not believed to be part of the protest, was charged with driving without due care and attention, after a vehicle was driven dangerously in the immediate vicinity of both the officers and activists.
The protest is said to have “significantly disrupted the operations of a local business and employer”, and those charged will be released on bail ahead of a court appearance at a later date.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble said: “Following a lengthy, complex and proportionate police operation I can now confirm that on Sunday, July 18 at 12:40pm the protest came to an end.
“This incident has significantly disrupted the operations of a local business and employer which has now been able to resume normal business.
“Whilst we recognise the right to protest is a key part of any democracy, we also recognise the rights of local companies to go about their legitimate business.
“Where offences have been committed, appropriate action has been taken, and our investigation continues.
“I’d like to thank members of the public and our local community for their patience and support throughout the course of the incident. I would also like to thank and recognise my officers for their professionalism and resilience against the backdrop of extremely warm conditions.”
The Lincolnite has contacted Animal Rebellion for a statement, but are yet to receive a reply at the time of publication.