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McLibel Support Campaign
P R E S S . R E L E A S E . 19/10/01
An Urgent Appeal to Civil Rights And Environmental Groups
A Group of Neighbors Living Next to a Toxic McDonald's Construction Site Desperately Seek Help from Environmental, Civil Rights and Legal Aid Groups
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Community Group Calling for National Boycott of McDonalds
A group of mostly low income neighbors on the west side of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were already fighting desperately to keep a new McDonalds restaurant from being built literally in their backyards when they discovered that the site was contaminated with tetrachloroethylene and other contaminants. When news of the contamination first came out, construction had already been filling residents homes with dust from the site. At least one woman on the block has moved away after she suffered hair loss and respiratory levels. Even after public meetings with the city, the State Department of Environmental Protection, and McDonalds, neigbors are still not sure what level of contamination they have been exposed to and what danger still exists.
Neighbors Against McPenntrification, a group formed to fight for the rights of the McDonalds neigbors and against neighborhood gentrification, desperately needs help and advice from lawyers and environmentalists. We need help understanding soil reports. We need lawsuits and injunctions filed against McDonalds. We need help navigating the beuracracy of government agencies. And we need community, political, and moral support. We need people who want to help the community be safe from toxins and stop the McDonalds from being built. WE WANT HELP CALLING FOR A NATIONAL BOYCOTT OF MCDONALDS.
McDonald's zoning application was originally denied in the face of vocal community opposition. However, McDonalds later lied to the zoning board in a letter in which they falsely stated that they had met with community members and met their concerns. On the basis of this lie, the zoning board then reversed its decision and approved McDonald's plan.
McDonald's already has a restaurant 3 blocks away at 40th and Walnut but is under pressure from the nearby University of Pennsylvania to relocate. The pressure to relocate is part of a broader plan by University of Pennsylvania to push any business that attracts low income people from the neighborhood away from the Ivy League campus. The university also has a plan to buy up all apartment buildings and raise the rents for ten blocks west of campus. Resisting the McDonalds at 43rd and Market is an important step in resisiting the gentrification of West Philly by Upenn!
For more info, contact Rev. Larry