UK Man Arrested For Releasing Live Rats In McDonald's In Pro-Palestine Protest
Police said that these incidents were being treated as public nuisances.
A man has been arrested in the United Kingdom for allegedly releasing live mice into a number of McDonald's restaurants in Birmingham. According to The Guardian, the 32-year-old was detained over the incidents in what appear to be protests related to the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Police said that they are still investigating the three separate incidents in the region where live rats were thrown into the fast food venues, and were also looking for a second man, 30-year-old Billal Hussain.
A video going viral on social media showed a man with what appears to be a Palestinian flag draped around his head. In the clip, he is seen carrying the rodents from the boot of his car into the McDonald's and tipping them on the floor, in front of customers.
Mice have been spotted in McDonalds. BOYCOTT pic.twitter.com/Mz5iHLlL4Y
Video of a second incident showed a group of masked people emptying a box of mice in a McDonald's branch in Small Heath. Another video also showed staff trying to contain dozens of rodents under a plastic box, with one onlooker saying they had been "dropped off".
Police said that these incidents were being treated as public nuisances and appealed for anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mr Hussain to come forward. "A 32-year-old man has this evening been arrested in connection with the incidents, but we are still appealing for information on the whereabouts of Bilal Hussain who is also wanted in connection with these offences," the Birmingham Police wrote on X.
A 32-year-old man has this evening been arrested in connection with the incidents, but we are still appealing for information on the whereabouts of Bilal Hussain who is also wanted in connection with these offences.More ➡️ https://t.co/lgWE88GG2Nhttps://t.co/B6AqcSf4CK
This incident comes after pro-Palestinian activists called for protests against McDonald's after a restaurant in Israel donated meals to Israeli soldiers and security workers.
Also read | A Picture And Its Story: Grief In Gaza And The Loss Of A Child
However, according to The Independent, a spokesperson for McDonald's said that 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," the spokesperson said.
"Our hearts are with all of 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," they added.
Meanwhile, for now, both restaurants were temporarily closed for a full clean and visit from pest control officers.