Two branches of Byron Burger in London have been forced to close after protesters released hundreds of live cockroaches into the restaurants, following the revelation that the chain tricked immigrant workers and got them deported (read more here).
Activists from London Black Revs and the Malcom X Movement released a “swarm of insects” into the Shaftesbury Avenue and Holborn Byron stores.
Last week the company tricked employees into coming to one of the restaurants for a training session, which was actually a ploy to catch immigrant workers. Immigration officers caught 35 people from Albania, Brazil, Egypt and Nepal in the plan, and some of them have now been deported.
The two activist groups released a stateent on facebook, which said that their insect intervention was a response to the company’s “despicable actions in the past weeks having entrapped waiters, back of house staff and chefs in collaboration with UK Border Agency”.
“Many thousands of live cockroaches, locusts and crickets [have been released] into these restaurants. We apologise to customers and staff for any irritation, however, we had to act as forced deportations such as this and others are unacceptable, we must defend these people and their families from such dehumanised treatment.”
One protester said, “Katie Hopkins called [immigrants] cockroaches in an article just a few months ago. We want to show these people what cockroaches really look like, and we’ll unleash them on places like this if they don’t change their ways.”
The Holborn restaurant closed it’s doors yesterday morning ahead of another demonstration after they heard that 1,300 people were going to attend.
Protesters held up signs that read “No one is illegal”, and one carried a cardboard cut-out of Paddington bear that read “Migration is not a crime.”
The crowd chanted, “How do you like your burger? Without deportation.”
A Byron spokeswoman responded, “The safety of our customers and restaurant teams is paramount, and our priority is now to work with local police to minimise the risk of further incident.”