More from Tecoma – on the picket line 17 September 2013

The picket at back of site

Following on from the rally at Federation Square last Saturday (reported below) Melbourne Protests took a train out to Tecoma to visit the planned site for the overwhelmingly unwanted McDonald’s in the Dandenongs, and stood for a while with the pickets on both entrances – on the main road, and round the back. Traffic on the main road was constant and at times fairly heavy, and a very large proportion of drivers passing tooted their horns in support. In the hour or so we were there, only one vehicle’s occupants indicated support for McDonald’s.
For updates on the campaign, especially the activities of the Tecoma delegation to Chicago, visit the NO McDonalds in The Dandenong Ranges Facebook page.

The entire site is surrounded by a high black hoarding topped with wire, blocking the view but incidentally providing a good surface for chalking comments:
chalked message on hoarding - Mr Currie you're diggin a big hole, it's not to late to stop

or even stencils:

Stencil on hoarding - Democracy ends here

No-one seemed to know where the pumpkin came from…

Also on the hoarding were posted copies of the Supreme Court order against the “Tecoma 8” (This photo slightly cropped at bottom where the protesters are listed):Part of copy of court order posted on hoarding

This is what the hoarding was hiding:

View of construction site over hoarding

From the main road

Another view of construction site

From the back – nothing much seemed to be happening

A local shop had this in the window – the planned McDonald’s is directly across the road from the local primary school:
Cartoon showing children crossing from school to McDonald's

More from the picket:

Protesters picketing on main road

Picket on far side of amin raod

Protester with red wig and grotesque mask- placard reads '24 drive thru what a joke!

View of hoarding with hills in background

Looking back as we headed for the station

By chance as we made our way home in the city we came across an instance of one of the many reasons why the majority of the people of Tecoma do not want a McDonald’s in the Dandenongs:
McDonald's packaging lying in gutter

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Tecoma says “No McDonald’s in the Dandenongs” – Rally at Federation Square 14 September 2013

Protesters massed at Federation Square

Refusing to give up, opponents of the planned McDonald’s outlet in Tecoma brought their message back to the centre of Melbourne today, marching through the city to a rally at Federation Square which included the launch of a brand-new documentary on the campaign, projected on the big screen above the stage. Many wore colourful costumes, some dressed as gnomes, as well as the bright t-shirt proclaiming “I voted No McDonald’s in Tecoma”. One group arrived by train at Melbourne Central at about the same time as we did, as can be seen below, and made their way down Swanston Street chanting and singing defiance, and meeting another, larger contingent on the way. By the time the rally was under way it had grown to somewhere between two and three hundred, including a good many children, and several dogs. MC Rod Quantock introduced speakers including Tecoma community member Esther Kelly and COuncillor Samantha Dunn, as well as the ‘flashmob’ whose appearance at the Australia on Collins food hall recently caught social media attention around the world (see the video on YouTube). Those attending the rally who hadn’t already done so were urged to sign a petition against the building of the outlet – at least count it already had well over 90,000 signatures, and a delegation including local mother Erin Downie will be leaving for the US next week to deliver it to the headquarters of McDonald’s in Chicago.

Comprehensive background to the campaign can be found on the website and this Facebook page. (There is also a Yes to Tecoma McDonald’s page – two supporters were in fact waiting at Federation Square as the protesters arrived, but didn’t seem to attract much attention:
Two women with pro-MCDonald's placards at Federation Square

See also the Facebook protest information site and No Maccas in the Hills (group).

These links to media coverage may also be of interest:
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/mcdonalds-case-against-tecoma-eight-is-thuggish-bullying-20130827-2sntu.html

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/kill-threat-probe-over-mcdonalds-tecoma-protest-20130731-2qygu.html

http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/08/01/leaked-notes-show-maccas-wants-search-and-rescue-cops-to-end-protest/?wpmp_switcher=mobile

Photos from the march down Swanston Street, starting at Melbourne Central station:

Group of protesters assembling at Melbourne Central

Underground at Melbourne Central

Head of march coming up steps to Federation Square

Arriving at Federation Square

From the rally: