French farmer Jose Bove made headlines around the world last
year when he and 300 others trashed a McDonald's in Millau, France.
The August 1999 action was one of the more radical statements of
protest against globalization yet, and according to Richard Kuper,
writing in the leftist British magazine Red Pepper,
set in motion a wave of activism across Europe.
When French officials arrested Bove and nine other protest leaders, support for their cause mushroomed, writes Kuper. 'Between 50,000-100,000 attended a two-day protest festival as the trial began.' Saint Bove, as he is now known, has posed for pictures with Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.
'At the trial itself,' Kuper adds, 'the defense called 17 activists from the 'global social movement' to give evidence on the effects of globalization. These included Vandana Shiva from India, Lori Wallach and Bill Christison from the U.S.A., Rafael Alegria from Honduras, and Susan George from France.'
Recognizing Bove's popularity, prosecutor Alain Durand went so far as to say, 'the whole world seems to approve of last summer's action against McDonald's,' and requested sentences of just 10 months. The court is set to pass judgement on September 13. -- Leif Utne