“McLibel” the film is coming to Main Street! I got heart palpitations when I read about this, because I was one of the many environmental and labor (whoops, labour) activists who were victims of McDonalds litigation in Britain. I think I am the only American to have been caught up in that drama, in fact. The fact that a film about the McLibel trial, the longest and most expensive trial in British history, is showing at the Mahaiwe Cinema in Great Barrington, where I moved from London in 1992, is very exciting. For background on this landmark case, visit McSpotlight. My story is also on the site: Home Ecology under attack.
What that piece doesn’t explain is that McDonalds wrote to all the bookshop chains in Britain to say that my book was under threat of litigation. The chains, where the book had been selling strongly (it was reprinted twice before its publication date thanks to being selected one of Britain’s Top 20 Green Books by the London Observer newspaper with serialization in the Daily Express), returned every copy of the book to the publisher. We never regained momentum, so although McDonalds did not pursue legal action, they did my small publisher, and me (then a single mother), considerable damage. And I guess that was the point!