TECOMA McDonald's protesters should not let their passion get in the way of a good campaign, says a representative of one of Australia's largest activist groups.
GetUp! communications director Rohan Wenn said protesters needed to be careful when conducting public campaigns.
He said some actions — like setting up the community garden next to the proposed McDonald's site, and the recent 'flash mob' at Ferntree Gully McDonald's — though harmless, were not the way GetUp! went about their work.
"I absolutely admire their passion and willingness to stand up for what they believe — that's what we're about, too," he said.
"But trespassing to protest is inappropriate. You need permission to do those things."
Mr Wenn said the flash mob, where No Maccas in the Hills protesters ordered "no McDonald's in Tecoma please" at the Ferntree Gully restaurant, was not effective practice.
"We go out of our way to not interfere with innocent staff members who have nothing to do with it.
"The key to a good campaign is passion and community support, which they seem to have.
"But the most important thing when running a campaign is to be polite when making your point. You'll lose credibility if you're not."
Mr Wenn commended No Maccas in the Hills' recent action in sending hundreds of emails to chief executive officer of McDonald's Australia Catriona Noble, asking her to meet Planning Minister Matthew Guy.
Mr Wenn said it was a "simple, effective cyber campaign that is done politely".
A spokeswoman for No Maccas in the Hills said reports stating they were hostile were simply wrong. "If you watch the footage of the drive-through, it was one of the most friendly protests," she said.
"We're essentially a huge part of the community, and you couldn't get friendlier. I can't think of an antagonistic way in which we've approached a person who is for McDonald's.
"We're certainly vocal, but we're not violent."
A petition with 4007 signatures against the proposed Tecoma McDonald's will be lodged in state parliament by Monbulk MP James Merlino next week.
The No Maccas in the Hills initiative gathered signatures through door knocking and leaving petition forms with local traders.
The same group is conducting a Tecoma-wide survey of all residents aged 18 and over.
According to No Maccas in the Hills, about 90 per cent of locals have been asked, "Do you support the Tecoma McDonald's development?"
Survey results will be finalised in coming weeks.
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