Today the community
came together to celebrate one year on from Reclaim Tecoma
from McDonalds – Community Garden planting, a garden created in response to
the VCAT decision
to approve a McDonalds in Tecoma.
To mark the occasion a
community lunch was held at Bonsai Bali, the place was packed, people coming
together unified in their opposition to the development and bonded by strong friendships that have formed in the past year.
One year ago more than 500 people attended Reclaim
Tecoma, it was a spontaneous response from the community and we've continued to
see that level of response to many and varied events one year later. It doesn't
surprise me, the Dandenong Ranges people are passionate about their area.
We've seen an amazing array of events over this
last 12 months with an enormous amount of media attention, many of them featured
on my past blogposts.
In more recent times we've seen Fatspace open with
their inaugural exhibition, Junk Food - Fast Fried and Fatal, Fatspace continue their
activities with an approach designed to take on key issues many of them
confronting and controversial.
|The opening of new business Fatspace in Tecoma was|
an enormous success, the place was packed.
A benefit for the Tecoma 8 was put together in the
space of one week and held at the Gemco Theatre in Emerald, a great night
featuring an enormous array of talented hills musos giving their time freely to
raise money for the eight community members being sued by McDonalds (note since
this time damages have not been sought by McDonalds, but they are still pursuing
The youtube Les Miserable
flash mob at Knox City has gone viral, sitting at over 55,000 views.
|A highlight of the Gemco benefit was the community singing|
of Amazing Grace for the Tecoma 8 - well 6 on the night.
The Swing into Spring Ball gave everyone a chance
to frock up 1920s style to raise money for the Tecoma 8. It was a great night, the
music provided by local swing and jazz band Shirazz. The Ball gave everyone
a chance to let down their hair, have a good time and enjoy new found
friendships developed on the protest line.
|It was terrific to be supported by Dave O'Neill and |
local celeb Genevieve Morris at the Swing into Spring Ball.
|Six of the Tecoma 8, got into the spirit of their fundraiser.|
|Some of the VCAT appeal team, nice to catch up with |
community members who worked tirelessly on the VCAT appeal,
volunteering hundreds of hours in preparation.
Pictured left to right: Steve, Kate, Samantha, Nicole and Claire.
A rally was held at Federation Square, where the
documentaries of Tim Smith ran for a week on the big screen, it was great to be
there speaking on behalf of the community.
|It was terrific to see hundreds of locals at Fed Square.|
|Many locals took the train to the city and marched from|
Melbourne Central through to Federation Square
with much support from city onlookers.
|Nick led a stirring rendition of the Les Mis song that's |
become another part of the soundtrack to this campaign.
|The flash mob perform at Fed Square, it was an|
extraordinary and stirring part of the rally.
Comedian Dave O'Neill has been a
terrific supporter and came back to perform at the Tecoma 8 fundraiser, the
Dave O'Neill Spectacular, a night of stand up, trivia and a showing of TakeAway,
a film he wrote with Mark O'Toole in 2003. The crowd was in stitches with many
parallels between TakeAway and Tecoma.
Protestors have continued to maintain a presence
on the site now for 105 days. In most recent news I can report that Yarra
Ranges Council has written to McDonalds to ask what legal mechanism they are
using to close the easements at the construction site.
What really strikes me a year on from Reclaim Tecoma is the resolve of people to
continue to fight, it has not waned and I have no doubt they will continue in
their efforts to fight this development and support the Tecoma 8.
Labels: cr samantha dunn, mcdonalds, tecoma, yarra ranges