The incident happened at about 3am on Thursday morning in London Road, Brighton, just hours before vegan activist Dylan Roffey was due to appear in court for causing damage in the restaurant herself.
Members of Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) demonstrated outside Brighton Magistrates Court in Edward Street wearing chicken and pigs masks during Roffey’s hearing. They then proceeded to McDonald’s to continue their protest.
Roffey, 23, of Terminus Road, Brighton, appeared in court wearing a Meat the Victim T-shirt.
She denies two charges of causing £3,000 damage to McDonald’s, and obstructing arrest during a protest on May 17. A police spokeswoman said: “We received a report that a group of people were protesting outside McDonald’s in London Road on Thursday at 11.50am.
“When officers arrived the group had left. There were no offences. We received a report earlier at 3.18am on Thursday that the front window of McDonald’s in London Road, Brighton, has been smashed at about 3am.”
A DxE spokeswoman said a sign on the internet claimed the window was smashed to show solidarity. It said: “Maccies, you can carry on trying to scare people, we will happily burn you down. Animal Liberation Front.’’