Somewhere around 1:00 on Saturday afternoon, with several thousand Middleboro voters still congregated on the ball fields behind the high school, I took a much need break from waving my No Casino sign and collapsed under a shade tree out front. There wasn't much for any of us on the outside to do at that point since we couldn't see or hear anything going on at the meeting.
And so, it was with no small amount of delight that I discovered I'd found the one spot in Middleboro where you could almost get an earful of what was being said under the tents out back. Almost. But I was easily able to identify the voice of the speaker - Jacquie Tolosko, the president of CasinoFacts.org.
Though I couldn't make out the actual words she was saying, it was the emotion in her voice, carried on the breeze with it’s strength and honesty, which rolled over the hill and down the lawn to me. Suddenly, I wasn't as tired as I thought I'd been.
Later, I would learn that while Jacquie had been speaking, her voice broke twice. And when it did, a large part of the crowd seized the opportunity to mock her en mass. As if her sincerity tickled their funny bones. As if her concerns for children and family were laughable matters.
It’s difficult for me to comprehend what kind of sociopathic low-brow trailer trash would do that sort of thing to a person so courageous as to stand before three-thousand strangers and speak from the heart, but clearly they’re charter members of that same sad deluded faction which actually believes a casino is their friend.
Back at home on Sunday morning, I awoke to the sun, stultifying heat, and fifty messages from assorted family and friends. They were all essentially the same:
"I’m so sorry." "How are you?" "After all your hard work… we lost."
Lost? We didn’t lose. We were vindicated.
A month ago, members of CasinoFacts scrambled to gather enough signatures in only two days for one purpose – to place an article on the ballot which asked the obvious question - Did the people of Middleboro even want a casino?
We wanted that question on the ballot because of the very nature of the other question on the ballot. Did the people of Middleboro approve of the agreement.
We wanted to hear what the People really wanted, because we knew they'd been lead to believe that if they didn’t say ‘yes’ to the agreement - that the Tribe would build a casino anyway, and that they’d be left with a big nasty casino and no money (like Bridgewater.) And so I refer to this as the fear and intimidation vote.
The real vote, the true vote, binding or not, was the overwhelming show of hands that demonstrated that Middleboro didn’t want a casino. And this is the vote that the Secretary of the Department of the Interior will see when deciding whether allow the Tribe to take that land into trust.
And if Middleboro doesn’t want a casino, you can imagine how we, in the outlying communities, must feel. And guess what? We get a say with the Department of the Interior, too.
So, will Glenn Marshall go against the wishes of the host community? Could it be possible that in his long life he somehow missed the lesson that ‘No means No?’ Or does he actually plan on date-raping the town of Middleboro?
Time will tell.
In the meantime, it’s apparently going to be up to us to get the word out about the NO vote, because the Fourth Estate seems to have taken a vacation day. No mention of it at all as far as I can tell except in the Herald. The TV news, the Globe and The Enterprise all forgot to mention it, and thus mislead their viewers and readers to understand that Middleboro 'approved a casino'. They didn't. They 'approved an agreement' they didn't think they had much of a choice of turning down.
I don’t know if it’s the reporters - because I’ve watched them scratch down every word in every meeting we shared a seat at - or their editors who are responsible for neglecting to tell the whole story of the Town Meeting. But it’s completely inexcusable. Speaking of which, Brockton Enterprise, if you plan on ripping off any more material from this blog you’d better start giving me my own byline.
So, my darling readers, it’s up to us. Get out your pens, and once again put to use those formidable writing skills I’ve seen you demonstrate with such frequency in the opinion section leading up to this debacle. Send your editorials to every paper in every town – and every town has a paper – and get out the word. It’s sad we have to do the newspaper’s job for them, but do it we will.
The battle isn't over. Just as the wind carried only Ms. Tolosko’s brave voice down to me on Saturday, and not that of the vicious sounds of her detractors, it will be our cause which will, at this war's end, rise up and prevail over ignorance, stupidity and greed.