Eight people charged with aggravated trespass following McDonald’s protest

Animal Rebellion protesters outside a McDonalds distribution site in Basingstoke, Hampshire
Animal Rebellion protesters outside a McDonalds distribution site in Basingstoke, Hampshire (PA Media)
11:58am, Mon 24 May 2021
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Eight people have been charged with aggravated trespass following a demonstration outside a McDonald’s distribution centre.

The charges relate to the protest outside the Basingstoke facility which was one of a number of events held against the fast food giant across the UK during the weekend.

A Hampshire police spokesman said that the eight people had been charged with aggravated trespass as well as “watching or besetting a house or place to compel the abstention or doing of a lawful act, an offence under Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992”.

Protesters suspended from a bamboo structure outside a McDonalds distribution site in Basingstoke, Hampshire (PA Media)

Jennifer D’Netto, 51, of Rothwell Road, Malvern Wells, Worcestershire; Kiera Ilett-Jones, 24, of Albemarle Road, 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, of Chessel Street, 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.

Animal Rebellion used vehicles and bamboo structures to prevent lorries from leaving depots in Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Coventry and Heywood in Greater Manchester on Saturday.

The group is demanding McDonald’s commits to becoming fully plant-based by 2025.

Chief inspector Matt Reeves, of Hampshire police, 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.”

Hertfordshire Police said six 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.

Mr Ozden said around 100 people took part in the protests and claimed the action disrupted an estimated 1,900 lorries.

Mr Ozden said the action was aimed at criticising the animal agriculture industry for its part in the global climate crisis.

A McDonald’s UK spokesman said on Sunday that its distribution centres had reopened and were back in service delivering to its restaurants.

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