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Melbourne Protesters Take Campaign to McDonald's Chicago HQ

Photo courtesy Michel Pickard flickr (Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0 license)

Photo courtesy Michel Pickard flickr (Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0 license)

Opponents of building a McDonalds in Melbourne are taking their case to Maccas headquarters in Chicago on Wednesday 18 September 2013. Approximately $40,000 in funds have been raised through an online campaign. Global Voices reported on the conflict in March 2013 Australia: Locals Fight to Stop McDonald's in their Hills

As well as social media, the protesters have used traditional direct action methods such as roof occupations and blockades. These resulted in court action by McDonalds against the so-called Tecoma 8, which has now been withdrawn although injunction applications are apparently ongoing.

An online petition has over 90,000 signatures.

Activist Garry Muratore puts their case in this video of a radio interview:

There were a couple of negative comments on the station blog:

Absolute idiots who do NOT represent the local community. Funds & signatures gathered from elsewhere. Time to give up and let those trying to do their jobs get on with it.
Abby Tuesday 17 September, 2013 – 12:53 PM

These protesters are knuckle-heads, the money could have gone to something to really help people in need not a stupid fight against a worldwide company.
Willow Tuesday 17 September, 2013 – 10:14 AM

The campaign is receiving national and international media coverage:

From the old media: Mac attack, the showdown between a tiny town and a fast food giant

From old via new media:

A range of twitter hashtags is popular for spreading the message as indicated in these tweets:

Finding online voices of supporters of the Tecoma McDonald's is difficult. McDonalds Australia has a twitter account with 2 followers and no tweets at present, but some are using the account to send messages to the management. Australian CEO Catriona Noble has given statements to the media defending the project.

Spectrum FM Radio is one of those with a message for her:

John Weiss, who has been an active advocate for the Tecoma McDonalds, continues his support on his Facebook account:

Most of Australia is actually shaking their heads in embarrassment to be honest. This is just a minority being bolstered by a global petition of people who don't like McDonald's and have never set foot in Tecoma. What a joke.

Finally these videos, posted on YouTube are just two examples of citizen media that cover local activities:

From MrTJsmith, Tecoma Still Says No:

From NoMaccasInTecoma, No Maccas Flash Mob:

Watch this space for further updates.

Update: From CBS Chicago: Australians Hand-Deliver Petitions To McDonald’s HQ

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