Showdown at Chuck E. Cheese

Sausage, Onion and an M-16 to Go Please...

Showdown at Chuck E. Cheese

by Mitchel Cohen
mitchelcohen@mindspring.com

For about one hour beginning at 5 pm Monday afternoon, members of the Brooklyn Greens leafletted at the front entrance of the Atlantic Terminal against Chuck E. Cheese's showing of military videos to their 4-11 year-old clientele.

We were joined by activists from Times Up! (one of whom had ridden his bike all the way from Queens to be there), Bay Ridge Greens, and an IndyKids photographer -- with a special guest appearance by the legendary Yippie Pieman Aron Kay. Three of the young kids had earlier leafletted inside the inner sanctum of Chuck E. Cheese itself.

All of the 13 leafletters (including four children) reported they received an excellent response by everyone visiting the mall, including several relatives of soldiers who are currently stationed in Iraq. No negative incidents occurred, despite the presence of four U.S. soldiers with machineguns at the entrance to the Long Island Railroad 100 feet up the block.

As we were running out of flyers, a mall security guard came outside and instructed us to move out of the area, claiming that the City sidewalk on which we were standing was actually private property owned by billionaire Bruce Ratner's Atlanic Terminal. We of course refused to move and the security guard called for the police -- 20 minutes later the police hadn't shown up, and we packed up our signs and said our goodbyes.

We will check with Chuck E Cheese management during the week to find out if they will remove the military videos. If not, we may return on a weekly basis, so stay tuned for further announcements.

Anyone who would like to have emailed to them a copy of the flyer we distributed, please drop me a line and I'll send it to you as a WORD attachment.

Send letters of protest to: investor@cecentertainment.com and media@cecentertainment.com or go online to http://chuckecheese.com/investors and fill in the form.

Also, call (972) 258-8507 and (972) 257-3056, and voice your opposition to the showing of prowar military videos to children at Chuck E Cheese establishments.

Chuck E. Cheese is owned and run by CEC Entertainment, 4441 W. Airport Freeway, Irving, TX 75062; Fax (972) 258-5524.

Originally published in CounterPunch:
http://counterpunch.org/cohen10112005.html