A group of about 75 people gathered at Bo Diddley Plaza in Gainesville yesterday, May 15, to draw attention to the unplanned and unwise Legislative bill 7068 to construct several new toll roads in Florida. The idea was not to rival Broadway, but bring to the forefront the bad idea of the roads. In this the group was entirely successful, as many members of the press and TV stations were present.
See the details in our post yesterday “Flash Mob Toll Road Protest Rocks Gainesville.” Here we will post some comments and images.
Although sponsored by several organizations, the event was conceived and put together in just a few days by OSFR board Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson. She made the props, made the calls, made it all happen. It was short, it was intensive, and it was effective, making the front page of the May 16, 2019 Gainesville Sun. Thanks go to Merrillee and to the many patient volunteers who gave up their time, and perhaps some dignity for the cause. Special thanks to our great speakers, some of whom traveled far distances to attend.
A very symbolic picture of Merrillee, doing the work of twenty.
A very fast one-time rehearsal gave the volunteers a good idea how to ad lib, which they all did. They were fast learners.
Harriet (the Hawk) Jones Jaime Bach is not really mean Hilda Gilchrist the DragonFly
Vicky Machado, Dave Wilson, Whitey Markle and Roberta Gastmayer are all good friends of the environment. Whitey is not used to playing the bad guy, so he wears a sign to reassure himself he is not really killing little animals.
Ready to pounce and the driving force behind our Legislators: Kate Gallagher and Karen Chadwick.
The lineup, the animals are heading out into the field.
Vicki Machado distributes springs markers and the animals approach.
Construction workers, cheered on by developers in the background, begin the lethal paving of paradise.
Money bags follow the work, and the pavement has now covered and killed the animals and springs and trees of rural Florida.
Cars and trucks, gas stations, strip malls, motels, housing developments and fast food soon follow.
We do not want nor do we need this for Florida. We don’t have the water for this urban sprawl. Studies have already been made, and the people of Florida have already said no new toll roads. Galvano is trying to play God and push his whims and money-backers to destroy our state. He wants to waste 300 million of our money for a study that has already been done.
Alachua Commissioner MarihelenWheeler. Sarah Gledhill of the Center for Biological Diversity
Whitey Markle, Chair of SSJ Sierra Club Mike Roth, President of OSFR
Ryan Smart, Executive Director of Florida Springs Council
Who made it all work? Merrillee, here giving the crowd inspiration.
Merrillee is a gifted leader and she gets things done. If she doesn’t do it, then who?
No matter what the difficulties, she always has a smile.
Merrillee never misses an opportunity to speak to the press and TV about the importance of saving our springs, rivers, and rural way of life in North Florida.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-