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18/12/04 . by unknown . AFP . France
Octopus cannon targets McDonalds in Southern France
SETE, France - Armed with a high-pressure hose and a bucket of octopi, hundreds of protestors in this Mediterranean town pelted a McDonalds restaurant due to open this week with the slimy seafood.
Between 300 and 500 people gathered on the banks of the Sete canal, across from the fast-food outlet, playing music and yelling anti-junk-food slogans across the water, as police barred them from reaching the restaurant itself.
Aiming the hose across the water, they catapulted fresh octopi -- a local delicacy, known here as the "pouffre" -- towards the town's first McDonalds, which had been set to open on Saturday.
The crowd held up slogans slamming junk food, dubbed "malbouffe" in French, as well as work conditions in the fast-food industry.
Driving home their point, the protestors were serving up traditional Setois dishes -- one of which is the tielle, a fragrant octopus, tomato and onion pie prized by locals and tourists alike.
The demonstration caused the opening of the restaurant, the first fast-food outlet in the port town following years of resistance by the former communist mayor, to be put off until next week.
A group led by French militant farmer Jose Bove pulled down a McDonalds outlet that was under construction in the southern town of Millau in 1999, earning Bove a jail sentence, although the restaurant was later rebuilt.