mcdonalds in jerusalem 2.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
In more than 60 cities across the globe, protesters gathered Monday in front of McDonald's restaurants to show the world their harsh feelings towards the fast food giant.
With signs brandishing slogans such as "McDonald's poisons children" and "Say no to violence; go vegetarian," a group of some 20 demonstrators at the Jerusalem McDonald's on Rehov Shammai heckled customers with whistles, horns and loud chants proclaiming, "Meat is murder in cold blood!" and "McDonald's sells death!"
Amnon Kerem, the organizer of the Jerusalem demonstration, explained the group's cause by blaming McDonald's strategy "of bombarding our minds with information through $2 billion a year in advertising."
"McDonald's advertising targeting children makes McDonald's own them by the time they can make decisions," said Kerem, adding that "the parents cannot say no because of the influence the children have on them."
Kerem and McSpotlight, the group that organized the anti-McDonald's rallies across the globe, said they do not believe the chain is the only transgressor of international capitalism and "bullying," but decided to make McDonald's the target because of its worldwide notoriety.
"See what's in front of you," plead one demonstrator outside the Jerusalem McDonald's. "The packaging doesn't hide the slaughter of animals, which are just merchandise to them."
The protesters engaged in dialogue with many passersby and customers leaving the restaurant. One woman spoke with demonstrators about the harmful affects of eating McDonald's even after finishing a meal there with her two daughters. Another woman with two children asked about the demonstration and when told about some of the issues, replied "I'll go to Sbarro's then."
But the demonstrators did not stop other customers from loving it. Shain Tal and her friend had just finished their meal when the demonstration began.
"They're hypocrites," she said of the protesters. "If they're for freedom of choice, then anyone can eat what they want, so don't tell me what not to eat." She further elaborated on her enjoyment of McDonald's by listing her reasons for frequenting the fast food chain. "They have the biggest and tastiest burgers, better than Burger King and the others, they treat you very nicely unlike other places and you feel they're not doing you a favor."
Yossi Kedem said he never eats at McDonald's but made an exception Monday because of the demonstration. "[The protesters] are sick people and they shouldn't bother me while I eat," Kedem added, his colleagues nodding in agreement while they finished off their chicken McNuggets.
McDonald's of Israel declined to comment on the protests, but did offer The Jerusalem Post staff coupons for their establishments.