Friday, November 29, 2013

Tecoma Says No to McD

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The residents of one Victorian town aren’t just saying “No” to McDonald’s – they’ve launched an international fight.
When McDonald's decided to build a restaurant in the Victorian township of Tecoma (population: 2200), 35 kilometers east of Melbourne, it must have seemed an obvious thing to do. The township is a gateway to the Dandenong Ranges, one of Melbourne's favorite playgrounds, a place of fern glades and forest villages and the lovely old Puffing Billy steam train that has delighted generations of children. For McDonald's, the only question must have been: why wouldn't you?
But two years on, the hills are alive with dissent. More than 90,000 people have signed a petition calling on the burger giant to back off; celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has tweeted support for Tecoma to his 3.4 million followers; high-powered lawyers have volunteered their services to defend protestors charged with offences related to the disruption of the development; while McDonald's has been portrayed as a corporate bully.

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In Tecoma, members of the No McDonald's protest group and security guards, who are washboards for their anger, keep uneasy company. Protest slogans are scrawled on the fences of the intended construction site: "This is our home", "Not in our community", "We will never give up", "Leave our hills alone", "Not welcome", "Child predators."
Writs are also pasted to the fences naming eight people who are being sued by McDonald's for damages caused by disruption to the development, including loss of profits. In Tecoma, they are referred to, in the language of martyrs, as the Tecoma Eight.
The opposition is overwhelming. Because:

I support the “Tecoma Says No to McD” cause!

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