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Old 03-25-2003, 05:20 PM   #1
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Take this Mars Bar and .....Well you know what and where!

Boycott of American Goods Over Iraq War Gains
Tue Mar 25, 2:13 PM ET Add Top Stories - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN (Reuters) - No more Coca-Cola or Budweiser, no Marlboro, no American whiskey or even American Express cards -- a growing number of restaurants in Germany are taking everything American off their menus to protest the war in Iraq (news - web sites).

Although the protests are mainly symbolic, waiters in dozens of bars and restaurants in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Bonn and other German cities are telling patrons, "Sorry, Coca-Cola is not available any more due to the current political situation."

The boycotts appear to be part of a nascent worldwide movement. One Web site, www.consumers-against-war.de, calls for boycotts of 27 top American firms from Microsoft to Kodak while another, www.adbusters.org, urges the "millions of people against the war" to "Boycott Brand America."

Consumer fury seems to be on the rise. Demonstrators in Paris smashed the windows of a McDonald's restaurant last week, forcing police in riot gear to move in to protect staff and customers of the American fast-food outlet. The attackers sprayed obscenities and "boycott" on the windows.

In Indonesia, Iraq war opponents have pasted signs on McDonald's and other American food outlets, trying to force them shut by "sealing them" and urging Indonesians to avoid them.

In the Swiss city of Basel, 50 students recently staged a sit-down strike in front of a McDonald's to block customers' entry, waved peace signs and urged people to eat pretzels instead of hamburgers.

Anti-American sentiment has even reached provinces in Russia, where some rural eateries put up signs telling Americans they were unwelcome, according to an Izvestia newspaper report.

A German bicycle manufacturer, Riese und Mueller GmbH, canceled all business deals with its American suppliers.

"Americans only pay attention when money is on the line," director Heiko Mueller told Reuters, whose firm buys $300,000 worth of supplies from half a dozen American firms each year.

"We wanted to make a statement against this war and told our American partners that unless they renounce what their government is doing we won't do any business with them anymore."


The German restaurant boycotts of American products started small but spread rapidly after the Iraq war began on Thursday. The conflict has struck a raw nerve in a country that became decidedly anti-war after the devastation of World War II, which it initiated.

"If people all around the world boycott American products it might influence their policies," said Jean-Yves Mabileau, owner of "L'Auberge Francaise" which joined 10 Hamburg restaurants in banning Coca Cola, Philip Morris' Marlboro cigarettes, whiskey and other American goods.

"This started as a light-hearted reaction to Americans dumping French wine in the gutter and renaming 'French Fries' as 'Freedom Fries'," he said. "But it feels good to take a stand against this war. It is just a small gesture, but a good one."

Diners at the Osteria restaurant in Berlin are finding that "things go better without Coke" and are ordering Germany's long overshadowed imitation of "the real thing" -- the slightly sweeter "Afri-Cola" -- to express their outrage.

"We wanted to do something to express our annoyance," Osteria owner Fabio Angile told Reuters. "We want to hit America where it hurts -- in their wallets. None of the customers have complained. On the contrary, most thought it was a great idea."

Herve Keroureda, owner of a French restaurant in Hamburg known as "Ti Breizh," said he was astonished by the massive media coverage of their small-scale anti-American protest.

"It was only intended as a small gesture but has turned into a gigantic issue," he said. "And the reaction from the patrons has been tremendous. Most have called it a brilliant idea."

In Bonn, bartender Bruno Kessler said he was refusing to sell American whiskey or American beer such as Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser at his "Eifeler Stuben."

"I asked myself 'What can I possibly do to show my anger over this barbary?'," he told Germany's N-24 television network.


Sarah Stolz, a 22-year-old German student of American studies, was headed for a Starbucks, coffee shop in central Berlin when her anti-war conscience got the best of her.

"I was thinking about going into Starbucks which I love, when I realized it was wrong," she said. "I'm backing the boycott because the war is totally unjustified."

Rita Marschall was avoiding McDonald's and Burger King.

"I'm boycotting American products because their policy on Iraq is totally wrong," said Marschall, 26, in front of a Berlin McDonald's. "It's just one of many ways we can take a stand."

Some German bakeries have renamed a local cake known as "Amerikaner" -- a disk-shaped pastry with icing on top -- as "Peace-ies," bearing a peace sign piped in chocolate sauce.

The boycotts are having only a negligible business impact. Establishments often associated with the American way of life such as Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, McDonald's and Coca-Cola reported no major business impact from the protests. Dunkin Donuts is owned by Britain's Allied Domecq

"We're really a local business in Germany, the product is made in Germany and they're boycotting German products," said Jonathan Chandler, communications director for Coca-Cola Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East in London.

Chandler declined comment on whether it was hurting sales, but an industry source said any impact would not be serious.

A spokeswoman for McDonald's in Europe said there had been no discernible impact on sales from the actions, and described the attack on the Paris restaurant as "an unfortunate incident during a protest."

"As a global entity, McDonald's is just a brand," she said. "Most of the restaurants are local franchises and support their local community. So why do they attack McDonald's? If you get a good answer please let me know."

In the London suburb of Milton Keynes, the Greens party have called on consumers to boycott 330 American products ranging from Mars bars to Gap jeans and American films on DVD and video.

In Zurich, travel agents said some clients who usually take holidays in the United States are changing their destinations.

"Some of the most loyal customers who have been traveling to the United States for years have changed their plans because they don't like what Bush is doing," Lucia Zeller, director of the Travac travel agency, told the Tages Anzeiger newspaper.

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Old 03-25-2003, 05:22 PM   #2
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I just posted this in the Freedom Fries thread. It's sad that either side is acting this way.

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Old 03-25-2003, 05:34 PM   #3
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come on let's get serious... no one in europe ever drank budweiser in the first place.

poor mcdonalds... when ever anyone has a problem with america, the arches are always the first to get it. it's like people outside of the states think that mayor mccheese is the secretary of defense or something...
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Old 03-25-2003, 05:37 PM   #4
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Two months from now, they all will be eating McNuggets again.
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Old 03-25-2003, 05:41 PM   #5
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Maybe we can strike some sort of deal with the French. They limit their boycotts to Bud and Coors, we limit our boycotts to Evian.
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Old 03-25-2003, 05:46 PM   #6
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I agree, it's sad to see anyone acting like this. What does it prove? A hate campaign is a hate campaign, no matter who it's directed at. The American people are not some monolithic group that all has Opinion X. Political plurality doesn't go away during wartime; no one has suggested canning the next elections. We need to get down to the serious business of helping the Iraqi people achieve peace, prosperity and stabiliity. I guess silly stuff is easier than constructive stuff. Damn.
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Old 03-25-2003, 05:59 PM   #7
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i'd like a salad with liberty dressing, a steak with a side of freedom fries, and i'd like to wash it all down with an ice cold henimerikan
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Old 03-26-2003, 03:49 AM   #8
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I agree, it's a shame trade and economy are twisted like that on any side because of politics.
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Old 03-26-2003, 12:18 PM   #9
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Oh - and we cna ban Mercedes and BMW's, oh wait, BMW's are produced in North Carolina aren't they?

oh well...
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Old 03-26-2003, 12:29 PM   #10
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if we can get over the fact that BMW once produced airplanes for the Luftwaffe, I guess we can get over this stupidity.
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Old 03-26-2003, 02:17 PM   #11
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Originally posted by womanfish
I just posted this in the Freedom Fries thread. It's sad that either side is acting this way.
It's not only sad, it is stupid.
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Old 03-26-2003, 02:20 PM   #12
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
Two months from now, they all will be eating McNuggets again.
Absolutely. I am eating Macs even these days. The case is that McDonald's is very close to my job and it's cheap!!
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Old 03-26-2003, 02:21 PM   #13
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The Burger King across the street from me has:

(side 1): FREEDOM FRIES (insert insanely low price here)

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Old 03-26-2003, 02:45 PM   #14
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Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
if we can get over the fact that BMW once produced airplanes for the Luftwaffe, I guess we can get over this stupidity.
It appears that we got over the fact that Henry Ford was a Nazi-sympathizer.


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