Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dètente Canceled

Just two days after promising to leave the homes of Walter Rosales and Karen Toggery untouched for at least a week, the Jamul Indian Village has destroyed them. Via Rob Davis, writing in the Voice of San Diego:

After years of delays, the Jamul tribe followed through on its plans to demolish the homes of Toggery and Walter Rosales, who lived on the reservation but are not members of the legally recognized tribe.

In doing so, the Jamul tribe reversed course on promises its chairman gave to casino protestors over the weekend. At a Saturday standoff where casino opponents were clubbed and pepper sprayed, tribal chairman Leon Acebedo helped resolve the confrontation by assuring opponents that no construction would happen until Friday.

But Monday morning, the Jamul tribe’s executive council unanimously rejected the temporary reprieve offered by Acebedo, who said he warned opponents Saturday that he didn’t have the authority to issue such a delay.

Leon Acebedo, the tribal chairman, is known to some locals as “Lying Leon”. I can’t help but wonder whether he actually did warn the opponents on Saturday about this possibility. I also can’t help but wonder to what degree the executive council is under his thumb, and their “override” was engineered…

An aside: isn’t Rob Davis' reporting and writing on this story a refreshing change from the pap that the Union-Buffoon has been serving up? I stole the headline for this post straight out of his article…

Later in the Rob’s article, there is this thought from Patrick Webb (the attorney for Walter and Karen) about why the Jamul Indian Village is suddenly breaking off negotiations with the state, and acting to clear the buildings off the land:

"I think it’s down to the wire for everybody,” Webb said. “We have yet to decide what’s putting the pressure on them to do this. We can only assume it’s coming from Lakes Gaming, which has the money up."

Webb’s notion that there is pressure on the Jamul Indian Village to get something done sounds right to me. I can’t think why else there would suddenly be this outbreak of dramatic and rash actions on their part. And his suspicion of Lakes as the source certainly makes sense — for what other entity has any sway on the Jamul Indian Village at all?

Finally, here’s the last paragraph of Rob’s article (but go read the whole thing), with a quote from Karen Toggery:

"You can’t sit here and cry, it’s not going to help,” she said. “I’m not going to give up, if that’s what they think. Land is the most precious thing you can have."

Karen’s not crying, and she will keep fighting. So will we all. I have a fantasy about a future ceremony, jointly held by a new Jamul Indian Village administration and the local residents of Jamul, wherein we burn every last shred of paper related to the monstrous casino.

After we get a burn permit, of course.

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