Rally to Raise Awareness in The Battle for Whiteclay

Please join us on Thursday, August 23, 2012, at noon on the Northside of the State Capitol in Lincoln, NE as we rally together to raise awareness for the ongoing Battle for Whiteclay. We will be standing in solidarity with and in preparation for the Women’s March to End Genocide 2012: The Life Givers of the Nations say no more alcohol in White Clay. That march will take place on Sunday, August 26, 2012 in Pine Ridge, SD.

Our featured speakers in Lincoln will include: Native American Activist Frank LaMere, Documentary/Filmmaker Mark Vasina, and Philosopher/Writer Char Knoflicek.

Join us later Thursday evening for a special screening of the documentary film The Battle for Whiteclay at Common Root Mutual Aid Center, 1315 S. 24th Street @ 7:00 pm.

For more information about just what is happening in Whiteclay, NE, here are a few facts:

White Clay is an unincorporated village with a population of 14 people in northwest Nebraska. The town sits on the border of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota (also known as the Oglala Sioux Tribe).

White Clay lies on disputed land, merely 200 feet from the official reservation border and less than 3 miles from the center of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, the largest town on the reservation.

Sale and possession of alcoholic beverages on the Pine Ridge is prohibited under tribal law. Except for a brief experiment with on-reservation liquor sales in the early 1970s, this prohibition has been in effect since the reservation lands were created.

White Clay has four off-sale beer stores licensed by the State of Nebraska which sell the equivalent of 4.5 million 12-ounce cans of beer annually (12,500 cans per day), mostly to the Oglalas living on Pine Ridge. These retailers routinely violate Nebraska liquor law by selling beer to minors and intoxicated persons, knowingly selling to bootleggers who resell the beer on the reservation, permitting on-premise consumption of beer in violation of restrictions placed on off-sale-only licenses, and exchanging beer for sexual favors .The vast majority of those who purchase beer in White Clay have in fact no legal place to consume it, since possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the Pine Ridge Reservation remain illegal under tribal law. Many people have died in the streets due to exposure, as the state of Nebraska fails to uphold state law or police White Clay. As long as the liquor stores in White Clay remain in business, the genocide of the Oglala Lakota people will continue.

Tribal activists of the Strong Heart Warrior Society have conducted annual blockades since 1999, trying to intercept alcohol and drugs being brought into the reservation. In June 2006 tribal activists protested beer sales by blockading the road from Pine Ridge to White Clay and confiscating beer bought in White Clay. These activists hoped to prevent bootlegging and illegal sales on the reservation. On June 9th of this year, young Lakota activists and their non-native allies held a blockade of the highway leading into White Clay, and gained concessions from law enforcement. This action in August will be a continuation of these efforts.

For more information about the documentary The Battle for Whiteclay, how to purchase a copy of the DVD, or any other current information on the efforts in this area, please visit battleforwhiteclay.org

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