|Speech for Hearing on the Toll Road
The majority of us here represent the efforts of people from every walk of life and various cultures that are trying
to save the world from human destruction. The dinosaurs did not know why they became extinct, but unlike them,
we are able to understand our demise. It is time to be careful about how much of Mother Nature we destroy.
I am here to represent my ancestors from the Acjachemen Nation. We are the ancient people of this land. We are
terrified at the thought of a toll road destroying our sacred land—an ancient village and burial site called Panhe.
There are no Great Pyramids at Panhe, no Stonehenge, no Great Wall, or no Machu Picchu. What exists at Panhe
is a way of life, a culture, a place of worship, peace and tranquility.
Before my eyes I see it—the sage, sweet grass, trees and brush. I can smell it. It lies off the edge of San Mateo
Creek beneath the earth, the bones of the ancients, and the body of my cousin, Ronnie Bracamontes, who was
buried there about 15 years ago.
Is this sacred site so simple and plain for you that it holds no value in your eyes? There is no gold or oil for you to
exploit; there is only my past, my culture and my life. Please look deep into your hearts and ask yourself, where
and when should humankind stop building, excavating and expanding human creations in the name of progress.
These kinds of super cement monuments you call freeways and toll roads are, to a great degree, contributing to
the demise of Mother Nature and our planet.
Save this world from destruction. Start now by saving the San Onofre State Beach and the campgrounds at San
Save my precious Panhe so that your children and their children can see where you helped to stop destroying the
planet. We must stop putting the profiteers of TCA before human integrity. We must understand the masquerade
and consequences of these so-called “infrastructure improvements.”
I came here today to bare my naked soul to you. How can I prove to you that my culture, my life, and my existence
are in great danger? The past behavior of your government has a history of making decisions based on the sea to
shining sea, genocidal philosophy. I do not want to harm you. I am not asking for your riches. But I am shocked by
the TCA corporation and their insistence to hurt and do harm to the Juaneno people. I do not mean any political
talking heads that are self-served by taking money from TCA like David Belardes and others. I speak for the
ordinary people like most of us here today.
What if I set a flame to end my life? Would that convince you? Or will your conscious allow this to be just another
Native life taken by the continuation of the cultural and literal genocidal extinguishment of our peoples, your
people, and the world's peoples.
If you allow the toll road, will your conscious let you sleep peacefully without guilt? Will it be easy to look at
yourself in the mirror knowing that you could have saved a man, a tribe, a planet and failed? Will you fail to stand
on the side of JUSTICE?
I fear this death of a man, a tribe, and a planet, because it is not our time to die; it is premature. Mother Nature
should dictate it, not humankind. I have only begun to live. And so too, has my tribe and my planet.
Have mercy on this man, this tribe and this world. I can see in your eyes that you are good people. I strip my dignity
before you and beg you to do what is JUST. Please, do not allow this toll road to be built.