Why the celebratory mood?
It's because anti-Israel elements in the West Riding city, traditionally a centre of England's woollen industry, have just chalked up 150 days of protesting outside a McDonald's restaurant there.
Here's local Respect MP Gorgeous George, waxing enthusiastic about the "Brothers – and Sisters" in November, four days before the 100th day anniversary of the protest.
Notes George, in upbeat tones:
"They've had a fantastic success rate. Police have to be here 24 hours a day ... costing the taxpayer a right few good quid ..."
The restaurant management and staff can be forgiven for seeing things rather differently. Back in August, the Bradford Telegraph & Argus reported:
'.... Duncan Taylor, who has the franchise for the McDonald's at Thornbury, says the flag and banner-waving protests have hit the store hard but it is not just the tills that have been affected.
Mr Taylor, who also has the McDonald's at Kirkgate and Forster Square as well as two in Sheffield, said demonstrators have been outside the Thornbury business everyday since August 1 "unfairly targetting" it.
He says takings are down considerably and he is having to cut workers' hours meaning they take less home for their families although he is trying to find them more work at his other branches.
Mr Taylor has met the protesters to explain he is an independent business and the UK franchises deal with McDonald's UK arm and have no contact whatsoever with the US parent company.
"I just want business as usual. I'm being unfairly targeted, it's been a nightmare. We've explained this to them, we've had a meeting. We are being caught up in the crossfire so to speak.
"I feel really sorry for my staff who are losing hours because of this, it's hard on them and their families. They are also being abused by the protesters,they've had eggs thrown at them.
"Some of the protesters have also been shouting at customers and jumping in front of cars to stop people from coming in. I have reported this to the police who do come up. I don't want to make any of this worse but I wanted to put the record straight." [Emphasis added]
Mr Taylor said his McDonald's franchise is a major sponsor of Bradford City's Disabled Football Team.
"We work very hard with the community, from sponsorship of a local football team to helping with litter-picks and cleaning up graffiti."
He said his Forster Square branch was also feeling the pinch with a noticeable reduction in the number of Asian [sic; he was probably not referring to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and persons from SE Asia] customers visiting it, there have also been protests outside the McDonald's in Ingleby Road, Girlington.
A McDonald's UK spokesman said:
“As a company that operates in more than 1,200 communities in the UK, we respect employees and customers from all backgrounds.
The paper added:"McDonald’s UK does not donate to the Jewish United Fund or any political organisations and refutes any suggestion that we have taken a position related to ongoing political or religious conflicts.” ...'
'The Bradford protesters have not just been targetting McDonald's in the city, they have also gathered outside Tesco and Sainsbury's stores.
In one protest outside Tesco Express in Otley Road, Undercliffe, earlier this month about 30 men, women and children gathered outside for about six-hours with banners and leaflets denouncing Israel and the supermarket giant, earlier they had been at the Tesco in Canal Road urging people to sound their car horns in support of forcing the store chain to take Israeli goods off its shelves. [Emphasis added]
Despite protests it seems supermarkets in Bradford are standing firm and are are not giving in to demonstrators....
A Tesco spokesman said: “Like all major UK retailers, we sell some products that are sourced from Israel. We do this in line with the Government position on trade with Israel, and we mark all products clearly with the country of origin, so customers can make informed choices about what to buy.”....
[A Sainsbury's] spokesman said: "As a non-political organisation, Sainsbury's would never take such a decision on grounds other than ensuring the quality or safety of ourStates Hasan Faridi's Yorkshire Standard:
'.... Dozens have been gathering on a daily basis outside the eatery on Thornbury Road to “educate people about companies that support, fund or trade with Israel”.
Spokesperson for the protesters, Faisal Mohammed, said: “In 150 days, we’ve seen a minimum of 4,000 people turn away. A lot of regulars who used to come don’t come anymore and we’re seeing mainly new faces.
“It feels good to have got to this stage. We came together as individuals who barely knew each other but now it has progressed a lot more.
“We can’t see any breaks coming to the train of the boycott campaign and I can only see it bigger.” ....
A spokesperson from McDonald’s said: “We respect the right to protest outside our restaurants, but we ask that this is carried out peacefully and is not disruptive to our customers and employees.
“The safety and security of our customers and employees is our top priority and we will continue to work with the local police and community to ensure that any protests are conducted in a safe and peaceful manner.”
Local police have been monitoring the protests.'And just fancy that!: