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No chains on Mill Road

04.07.2006 23:51 | Globalisation | Cambridge

Local residents have formed a 'No Chains' campaign to save Mill Road from becoming yet another identiket street of multinational chain stores.

Mill Road is treasured for its individuality but the encroachment of multinational chain stores - Pizza Hut, Chicken Cottage and Subway- is threatening this unique neighbourhood.

In their most recent action last Friday evening, 20 residents took over Mill Road Pizza Hut with a "No Chains" party with music, dancing, balloons and playing twister to show their refusal to give up their neighbourhood. While the employees behind the counter appeared amused by the party, the manager and police eventually shut down the fun after half an hour.

Indymedia coverage of the Pizza Hut Twister party and earlier actions: [1], [2], [3].

No Chains campaign website and flyers.

We'll be back!
We'll be back!

The No Chains campaign has attracted significant support, with homes and local businesses displaying No Chains posters. An open letter recieved hundreds of signatures in just a few hours.

Previous actions included a "making life taste better" day of action on May 6th when free home made food was given away outside the chain stores. Both the sentiment of the campaign and the free sandwiches proved very popular. Cambridge's community radio station, 209radio came to interview activists and passersby. City Councillor Kevin Blencowe also came to lend his support.

Much of Cambridge, particularly the centre, has become full of corporate franchises driving up the rent and blocking out local small businesses. In a survey conducted by the New Economics Foundation it was found that 42% of british towns have become 'clone towns' dominated by multinational chain stores, with a further 26% classed as in immediate danger of homogenisation. (See the New Economics Foundation's Clone Town Britain site for more details.)

Bury St Edmunds provides another example of residents putting up a stand against the chain store take over. Supporters of a local market in Newham are also fighting a campaign to prevent the site being bulldozed by the local council to build an ASDA supermarket.