Eight animal rights protesters charged after McDonald's blockade
The group blocked the entrance to one of the fast food chain's distribution centres.
Eight animal rights activists have been charged with aggravated trespass after using vehicles and bamboo structures to blockade a McDonalds distribution centre in Basingstoke on Saturday.
Animal Rebellion carried out protests at depots in Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Coventry and Heywood in Greater Manchester.
The group wanted the fast food giants to commit to becoming fully plant-based as early as 2025 in order to combat the climate crisis and to protect animal welfare.
The Metro reports that Jennifer D’Netto, 51, of Malvern Wells, Worcestershire; Kiera Ilett-Jones, 24, from Beckenham, Kent; and Elizabeth Flynn, 32, Rose Patterson, 31, and Adam Haigh, 21, all of no fixed address, have been released on conditional bail to appear at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court on June 8. Sidney Davies, 21, from Bristol, and Bethany Croakin, 25, and Jasmine Maslen, 18, both of no fixed address have also been bailed to appear at the same court on June 10.
All eight of them were charged with aggravated trespass as well as "watching or besetting a house or place to compel the abstention or doing of a lawful act."
Chief inspector Matt Reeves said: ‘Everyone has the right to free speech and protest, however, officers will take necessary action against the few who deliberately choose to act outside the law.’
Six more people were also arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass, criminal damage and intimidating behaviour.
Animal Rebellion spokesman James Ozden said protests at Coventry and Heywood ended voluntarily at 10am and 4am on Sunday, respectively. The protest at Hemel Hempstead was cleared by police at around 3am while the Basingstoke demonstration ended at about 2am.
According to Ozden, around 100 people took part in the protest and the action apparently disrupted an estimated 1,900 lorries. He said that the action was aimed at criticising the animal agriculture industry for its role in the global climate crisis.