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:
These links to media coverage may also be of interest:
Photos from the march down Swanston Street, starting at Melbourne Central station:
From the rally: