A group of pro-Palestinian activists in the UK let loose mice painted in the colours of the Palestinian flag in several crowded McDonald’s restaurants in Birmingham.
Three McDonald’s restaurants in the city have had mice let loose in them in the past few days; one in Regina Drive, Perry Barr, one off Watson Road, Nechells, and one on Coventry Road, Small Heath.
On the evening of November 1, a 32-year-old man was arrested who was reportedly filmed at the StarCity complex in Nechells, Birmingham, where he allegedly let the mice loose in the restaurant there.
“Targeted boycott. The Big Three. Start by boycotting these brands that are directly involved in supporting Israeli apartheid,” one of the video captions read, referring to McDonald’s, Starbucks and KFC’s purported support of Israel.
The protests came after a McDonald’s restaurant in Israel sparked controversy when it appeared to support the Israel Defence Forces on Instagram. It pledged to provide free food to “all those who are involved in the defence of the state, hospitals, and surrounding areas.”
Hamas supporter throws mice in a packed London McDonalds, while shouting “fuck Israel”.
Multiculturalism has failed. pic.twitter.com/Y7VUV6ryL7
— Turning Point UK 🇬🇧 (@TPointUK) October 30, 2023
The action provoked criticism and anger and was perceived as both cruel and dangerous.
West Midlands Police said a number of warrants had been executed in efforts to arrest an accomplice suspected of being involved in the “unacceptable” and “distressing” incidents.
The force added that the acts were “appalling” and would not be tolerated and it would be stepping up patrols across the region.
McDonald’s was forced to disinfect the restaurants and contact pest control for thorough examinations of the premises.
A spokesperson for McDonald’s said the firm was “dismayed” at “inaccurate reports regarding our position in response to the conflict in the Middle East”.
“McDonald’s Corporation is not funding or supporting any governments involved in this conflict, and any actions from our local developmental licensee business partners were made independently, without McDonald’s consent or approval.
“Our hearts are with all the communities and families impacted by this crisis. We abhor violence of any kind and firmly stand against hate speech, and we will always proudly open our doors to everyone,” the spokesman said.
Another McDonalds in Birmingham, England has been targeted by pro-Palestine Muslim activists who released mice in the restaurant. They want the franchise chain to shut down in Israel. pic.twitter.com/IiuZEhwGat
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) November 1, 2023
McDonald’s chains across the Islamic world posted their own statements on social media, claiming independence of the Israeli franchise.
McDonald’s Malaysia said it would be raising money for humanitarian aid for Palestinians.
Online videos also circulate of a group of men wearing masks and hoods breaking windows at a Starbucks in the UK.
— Biology Rules Ok (@OkayBiology) November 2, 2023