Whiteclay Updates

FREE SCREENING | Sober Indian Dangerous Indian 


"Boycott Bud, Support Pine Ridge" whiteclayboycott.blogspot.com

Students from Creighton University, University of Nebraska-Omaha and University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced a boycott of Budweiser products at a news conference at Creighton (Omaha) at 10 a.m. Jan.22, 2013. The students have asked Anheiser-Busch, brewer of Budweiser products, to end alcohol sales in Whiteclay by purchasing the beer stores in that town and retiring the liquor licenses, and to provide funding for expanded alcohol rehabilitation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Read the Omaha World-Herald story here: http://www.omaha.com/article/20130122/NEWS/701239934/1016#students-boycott-bud-anheuser-busch-in-bid-to-halt-whiteclay-beer-sales

Read the transcript of the prepared statements by students at the news conference here: http://battleforwhiteclay.org/?p=2133

Join the boycott here: http://whiteclayboycott.blogspot.com

 

Native American Solidarity Action Targets Alcohol Smuggling from Whiteclay, Nebraska

PINE RIDGE, S.D., Dec. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Vowing "we will live up to our obligation once again and be idle no more," Oglala Lakota Women and allies from the Deep Green Resistance will blockade the border of Pine Ridge and Whiteclay, Nebraska to prevent alcohol from entering the Pine Ridge Reservation where alcohol sales, possession and consumption are illegal, according to Alcohol Justice.

"We do this to save the lives of our relatives who cannot defend themselves against the harms of alcohol due to the inability of the state of Nebraska to properly police illegal retailer alcohol sales and activities in the town of Whiteclay," stated activist Olowan Martinez. "We do this to prevent abuses of all forms from reaching into our sacred homes and to show our future generations how to protect our homeland by any means necessary!"

What: Alcohol Solidarity Blockade
When: Monday, December 31, 2012, 9 PM
Where: Border of Pine Ridge, South Dakota and Whiteclay, Nebraska
Who: Representatives from:
Oglala Lakota Nation, Deep Green Resistance, Community Supporters
Why: To stop the illegal alcohol activity at Whiteclay, Nebraska such as:
Retailer participation in alcohol smuggling into the Pine Ridge Reservation, Trade of alcohol for sex, Loitering at the premises of alcohol retailers with open containers, The inability of Nebraska Liquor Commission to stop illegal retailer activity, Recent homicides and physical violence, Alcohol sales to minors, Alcohol sales to intoxicated people

25% of Pine Ridge Reservation youth suffer from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.2/3 of Pine Ridge Reservation adults suffer from alcoholism.
 Contact: Olowan Martinez 605 899--0044Autumn Two Bulls 605 441--7369Jorge Castillo 213 840--3336

UPDATE: Still no official charges against Whiteclay protestors
Posted: Aug 26, 2012 11:48 PM CDT By Chris Davis

Press Release: Women’s March and Day of Peace Turns Violent– Protesters Arrested
August 26, 2012 | DGR News Service

More than 100 march, protest Whiteclay liquor sales

August 27, 2012 6:30 am • Ruth Moon Journal staff

WHITECLAY, Neb. | The Nebraska border town of Whiteclay filled Sunday afternoon as protesters from as far as the West Coast spoke and demonstrated in an attempt to end alcohol sales in the town.

More than 100 men, women and children marched two miles south from Pine Ridge's Oglala Sioux tribal headquarters, to Whiteclay, which borders the Pine Ridge reservation. The town has been in national news since February, when the Oglala Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit against the owners of four liquor stores there.

Whiteclay liquor stores sold more than 4 million cans of beer last year, according to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission.

This “Women’s Day of Peace” is a way for tribal women to take control and protest alcoholism in Whiteclay and on the reservation, said Olowan Martinez, who organized the event.

“It’s our homes that are affected with every single drunk relative that comes in,” Martinez said. “It’s our sons going to prison. It’s our daughters being molested by drunk relatives.”

Shopkeepers and locals watched from street corners and barred store windows as 150 protestors circled in the main street through Whiteclay, sharing stories of alcoholic family and friends.

“They don’t even take a flower or sympathy card to my relatives who are dying of alcoholism,” said Oglala resident Arlette Loud Hawk of Whiteclay liquor store owners.

“I wish we could get rid of Whiteclay,” said Pine Ridge resident Eileen Janis.

“These are our relatives dying here,” said Lakota activist Debra White Plume. “We’re not going to just let business continue as usual.”

Five protestors from Deep Green Resistance, an environmental group based in California, joined hands and stretched across Nebraska Highway 87 on the north end of Whiteclay. The group was prepared to stay seated through the night at Martinez’ request, said Jessica Garraway, organizer for Deep Green Resistance.

Garraway said the organization, though primarily environmental, is committed to protesting Whiteclay with the Lakota people. About 15 protestors from the group had come from the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

"We realize exploitation of the land is inter-related with exploitation of people," she said.

Martinez said she wanted the Deep Green Resistance group to stay seated until they were arrested, to gain publicity.

Protestors still stretched across the road Sunday mid-afternoon. Garraway said she would have no problem with law enforcement arrests.

“If that happens, it’s great,” she said. “It’s shining attention on the evil that’s in this place.”

Sheridan County Sheriff Terry Robbins and several vehicles from his office and the Nebraska State Patrol camped out in Whiteclay to keep crowds under control during the protest, he said.

“If they want to protest, that’s fine with me,” he said. “We’re just trying to keep them from getting out of hand.”

The first hours of the protest were peaceful aside from an incident where a Nebraska law enforcement official sprayed mace in the faces of several children and teens who tried to block a law enforcement vehicle. The children and teens had also tried to take an arrested person out of the vehicle, said Tyson Blacksmith, a bystander and 22-year-old protestor from Oglala.

This was the summer's second march from Pine Ridge to Whiteclay. In early June, protestors marched in the 13th year of a demonstration that has occurred annually since two Lakota men were found dead near Whiteclay in 1999.

 
Whiteclay activists protest liquor sales

By PAUL HAMMEL / OMAHA WORLD-HERALD / August 24, 2012

LINCOLN — Women on the Oglala Sioux Reservation are now getting involved in the effort to shut down the four liquor stores in Whiteclay, Neb.

The liquor stores have been the subject of protests for more than a decade because they sell more than 4 million cans of beer a year, mostly to residents of the adjacent, and officially dry, reservation.

On Sunday, a group of women will lead a protest march to the unincorporated village on the Nebraska-South Dakota border.

One of the organizers, Olowan Martinez, said that women object to the alcohol-related problems fed by the liquor stores, which include high rates of alcoholism, fetal-alcohol syndrome and spousal abuse. Rates of sexual assault and domestic violence are double the national average on the reservation, and many blame the alcohol that is easily available from Whiteclay.

“We’re fighting to protect our homes. We’re standing up to end an over 100-year infection on our people,” said Martinez, a Lakota activist.

About 50 people gathered today on the steps of the State Capitol in Lincoln in a rally for the “Women’s Day of Peace” event.

Groups including Nebraskans for Peace, Deep Green Resistance and Occupy Lincoln pledged to participate.

Sunday’s rally follows one on June 9 in which members of Deep Green Resistance, a nationwide activist group, blocked the highway through Whiteclay for more than four hours.

Martinez said her group plans a nonviolent march, but that she could not speak for other groups involved in the protest.

Nebraska officials have said that Whiteclay merchants sell a legal product and they cannot shut them down unless they break state laws.


Women’s March to End Genocide 2012: The Life Givers of the Nations say no more alcohol in White Clay

Lifting our Hearts, from Wounded Knees

August, 26th 2012 12:00 a.m. Billy Mills Hall Pine Ridge, SD
Action against White Clay Nebraska

“Our Stand Is Locked to the Land, Shut Down White Clay Today!”

Facts about White Clay, NE

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 remains 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.

A Message to participants joining in the march:

This will be a Women’s lead march, only women will be speaking during and after the march. Men are encouraged to come and will be there to show support and provide security for the women. We will also provide support work at the campsite so the women can get together and have women only circles. The men will also get together at the camp and have male ally circles. There will be more information provided at the campsite.

To get involved contact:

Olowan Martinez Lead Organizer 605.407.1773 or truelyn8tive@yahoo.com or T.R. McKenzie Coordinator for Deep Green Resistance Great Plains trmckenzie@riseup.net or 605.868.8111 and/or the point person in your region. If you would like to be a point person for this action in an area not already covered please contact Olowan or T.R.

Point People:

Western South Dakota – Olowan Martinez truelyn8ive@yahoo.com or 605 407 1773
Eastern Iowa – Nate Adeyemi : adeyemi_dgr_gp@riseup.net or 815 632 7243
Wisconsin – Ben Cutbank: ben_dgr@riseup.net or 262 208 5347
Omaha NE – Christie Schoening : tuffenoughtorock@gmail.com or 402 250 8140
Lincoln NE – Jeffrey Eggerss – jeffreyalaneggerss@gmail.com or 402 601 6985
Colorado – Jennifer Murnan- Jennifer@riseup.net or 303-823-6336
Western IA/Eastern SD – T.R. McKenzie: trmckenzie@riseup.net or 605-868-8111
West Coast – Xander Knox: xander_dgr@riseup.net or 253-906-4740
SouthWest – Hershe Michele – hershe310@gmail.com or 505-340-3362

More Info:

Everyone is responsible for their own food for this action, there may or may not be camping fires to use for cooking while camping on Pine Ridge, due to the chance of starting a wild fire. Everyone in the caravan is responsible for the gas in the vehicle they are driving and riding in. DRUGS AND ALCOHOL will not be tolerated at all during this entire caravan and action. You will be escorted out of camp and asked to immediately leave. Please do not test us on this rule. Thank you everyone for your commitment and love for the cause.

Camping and Caravan Info: To join in the caravan heading from the East, groups will meet again at T.R. and Joey’s place in Jefferson SD, on Thursday August 23rd after 3p.m., dinner will be provided. We will leave from Pine Ridge the next morning around 8am Friday August 24th. All groups are encouraged to meet at Wounded Knee on August 24th at 3pm. The campsite on Pine Ridge will be announced at a later date. If you are traveling from the West please get in contact with Jennifer Murnan from DGR Colorado she will have lodging for folks the night of August 23rd. August 25th will be a day of social gatherings, Women circles, Male Ally circles, and trainings for the March on the 26th.

***Information on the Camping situation in Pine Ridge will come later stay tuned***

 

Members of the Oglala Lakota Tribe Blockade White Clay
INFOSHOP NEWS / June 10, 2012

Whiteclay, NE – Activists from across the country participated in an act of civil disobedience in the town of Whiteclay, Nebraska. Deep Green Resistance, Un-occupy Albuquerque, Occupy Lincoln and Lakota organizers attached U-Locks to their necks and strung a chain between pairs of activists, blockading the road running through the town to bring attention to the town’s infamous liquor industry. After blocking the main road running through the town for 3 and a half hours, police agreed to work with Lakota women to investigate the plethora of crimes and abuses committed by the owners of the four alcohol peddlers in Whiteclay.

This happened on Saturday June 9 after the annual March for Justice.


Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is drowning in beer

The Oglala Sioux Tribe takes a stand for alcohol responsibility by fighting against illegal bootlegging on its reservation
http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_20704990/drowning-beer?source=pkg


WHITECLAY: Alcohol and the Reservation: Anheuser-Busch’s View

Letter to the editor of The New York Times today:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/opinion/alcohol-and-the-reservation-anheuser-buschs-view.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss


Whiteclay: Can a Bud boycott help the Pine Ridge Reservation?

Michael Yudell, an associate professor at Drexel University School of Public Health, wrote this in The Public's Health (a Philadelphia Inquirer blog):
http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/public_health/Can-a-Bud-boycott-help-the-Pine-Ridge-Reservation.html

 
Whiteclay in the Scottsbluff Star Herald

For a somewhat different editorial take on Whiteclay:
http://www.starherald.com/opinion/article_af05bbda-94ce-11e1-932e-001a4bcf887a.html


Whiteclay in the New York Times: Nicholas Kristof

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/opinion/sunday/kristof-a-battle-with-the-brewers.html?_r=1&ref=opinion


Whiteclay: Beer companies want tribe lawsuit dismissed

http://www.omaha.com/article/20120501/NEWS97/705019925#beer-companies-want-tribe-lawsuit-dismissed


Whiteclay on the BBC

Read the story at this link and watch the video:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17859117

 

Whiteclay Burn Victim Begins Long Medical—and Legal—Journey
By Stephanie Woodard April 13, 2012
Indian Country-Today Media Network.com

“He may never have full use of his hands again,” said Patricia White Bear Claws, of her longtime companion, Bryan Blue Bird Jr., who was severely injured in an early-March prescribed burn in Whiteclay, Nebraska. Set by the volunteer fire department from nearby Rushville, the blaze flared out of control and engulfed Blue Bird, a bystander. Both he and White Bear Claws are Oglala Lakota, from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which straddles the Nebraska–South Dakota border and adjoins the town of Whiteclay.

“I can’t make a fist anymore,” said Blue Bird, 51, an Army veteran. “In addition to my hands, my face and other parts of my body were burnt, and my hair, eyebrows and mustache are gone.”

Blue Bird has filed notices of claims against the Rushville Volunteer Fire Department and Sheridan County, Nebraska, where Rushville is located. According to his attorney, Thomas White, of White & Jorgensen, in Omaha, complaints against Nebraska governmental bodies go through a two-step process: first, a notice of intent to file a claim; then six months later, the filing of the lawsuit itself (assuming the parties involved have not already settled the issue).

The Sheridan County Attorney’s office has not at this point received an indication it will be handling any lawsuit that emerges, said Jamian J. Simmons, deputy county attorney: “We handle certain county legal matters, but they may be making other arrangements.”

Neither the Rushville fire chief, Dwaine Sones, nor the Sheridan County sheriff, Terry Robbins, responded to requests for comments. However, Robbins, who was present during the fire, told the Omaha World-Herald the firefighters set the blaze in order to burn off thick grass from Whiteclay vacant lots and thereby reduce fire risks to local businesses. Robbins also said the team had checked the area prior to getting underway.

Mark Vasina, director of the award-winning 2008 film, The Battle for Whiteclay, went to the town to examine the fire site and talk to witnesses. Vasina said he was surprised they hadn’t seen Blue Bird, since he was close to the main north-south road through town when the fire caught up to him. White Bear Claws concluded the firefighters couldn’t possibly have looked carefully.

Vasina said it also appears that a bystander and fellow tribal member, Darrell Walking, pulled Blue Bird from the conflagration, rather than the firefighters or sheriff. Walking, who had no protective gear when he rescued Blue Bird, sustained serious burns as he attempted to put out the flames with his bare hands and was later treated at the Indian Health Service hospital in nearby Pine Ridge village. There are indications the Rushville fire department eventually doused Blue Bird with water, though not until after the rescue by Walking, according to Vasina.

Another tribal member, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, said the fire crew’s apparent hesitation to help Blue Bird was an example of the attitude toward Native Americans in Sheridan County, especially in Whiteclay: “He was an Indian, so they let him burn.”

Ray Nance, public relations representative for the Nebraska state fire marshal, said his agency is “not involved” in investigating the incident; shortly after the accident, he told Indian Country Today Media Network that the fire marshal’s office “generally” likes to look into such situations. In 2011, the fire marshal reportedly spent 11 weeks investigating fatalities resulting from a prescribed burn in Trenton, a town in southern Nebraska. Nance said he had “nothing further to add” about the Whiteclay incident.

The businesses the prescribed burn was intended to protect include four carry-out beer stores that flout both Nebraska and Pine Ridge public-nuisance and bootlegging statutes by selling more than four million cans of beer annually on the border of the dry Pine Ridge reservation. Frank LaMere, Winnebago, who has long worked to control Whiteclay alcohol sales, has said the bordertown’s rampant lawlessness includes murder, rape, assault, alcohol sales to minors and trading beer for sex. In February, the manager of a Whiteclay grocery store told the investigative news website 100Reporters that exchanging booze for sexual favors was “how society works.”

The Oglala Sioux Tribe recently brought a federal lawsuit to halt illegal alcohol sales in Whiteclay. White is the attorney for that claim as well.

After the accident, Blue Bird was taken to the emergency room of the Pine Ridge IHS hospital, then airlifted to the burn unit of the North Colorado Medical Center, where he arrived in serious condition and received specialized care and skin grafts. He’s now back home in Pine Ridge village, facing ongoing medical care and physical therapy for the burns, including 630-mile round trips to the Colorado hospital.

The staff at North Colorado Medical Center taught White Bear Claws to change Blue Bird’s bandages and take care of the burns, he said, adding, “I’m trying to hang in there.”

“It’s not just the physical effects of the burns,” said his sister, Carla Blue Bird Cheyenne. “That’s bad enough, but the recovery process is hard emotionally as well.”

Blue Bird will need an operation on a shoulder that was surgically repaired at a Veteran’s Administration hospital in February but re-injured during the fire, said White Bear Claws. “I must have popped the pin they put in when I fell trying to outrun the fire,” explained Blue Bird. “I’ll be seeing doctors a lot for awhile.”

White’s preliminary investigation of the incident uncovered what he termed “disturbing” possibilities that he will explore during depositions for the lawsuit: “It appears the Rushville Volunteer Fire Department set the fire deliberately; it is not clear at this time that they had a permit; the blaze occurred on what was apparently a ‘red flag’ day, with high winds, dry ground conditions and low humidity, when such fires are normally not allowed because of the danger involved; the firefighters claim to have checked the area prior to starting the burn, yet Blue Bird was burnt in the fire.” Finally, those officially involved with the burn appear not to have moved immediately to rescue Blue Bird, once it became clear that was necessary.

White said he doesn’t like to call any lawsuit “open and shut” ahead of time. However, he said, “This appears to be a very strong set of facts.”

 

NEWS RELEASE: Oglala Sioux Tribe Files Second Amended Complaint Against Whiteclay Retailers, Distributors and Retailers
Alleges Defendants Have Created Public and Private Nuisances Inside the Pine Ridge

LINCOLN, Neb. – (Apr. 2, 2012) – Attorney Tom White, legal counsel for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, has filed a second amended complaint in the Tribe's lawsuit against the brewers, retailers and distributors of beer sold in Whiteclay, Nebraska.

The second amended complaint, filed Friday March 23 in Federal Court in Lincoln, adds to previous allegations that actions of the defendants have created public and private nuisances inside the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation “by endangering and injuring the property, health, safety and comfort of a considerable number of individual members of the OST” and seeks injunctive relief and money damages. The sale, possession and consumption of alcohol is illegal on the Pine Ridge, where many tribal members suffer from crippling poverty and alcoholism.

In its fourth cause of action (Public Nuisance), the second amended complaint states: “The actions of Defendants have created at public nuisance inside the Pine Ridge Reservation by interfering with the safe and unimpeded use of the streets, sidewalks and other public spaces by the members of the Oglala Tribe living in or visiting the Pine Ridge Reservation. Such interference includes, but is not limited to, public intoxication, driving of automobiles while under the influence of alcohol and a wide variety of crimes committed by intoxicated persons in public spaces in the Pine Ridge Reservation.”

The second amended complaint goes on to state, in its fifth cause of action (Private Nuisance): “The actions of the Defendants as previously alleged have interfered with the use and enjoyment of the that land including, but not limited to, the ability to develop and enhance the value of that land. As a result, the value of the land owned by the OST is depressed due to the illegal unreasonable conditions created by the Defendants.”

The original complaint, filed Feb. 9, charges that the defendants are engaged in a common enterprise focused on assisting and participating in the illegal importation of alcohol sold at Whiteclay onto the Pine Ridge Reservation, and seeks unspecified money damages. The first amended complaint, filed Feb. 17, requests injunctive relief in “the form of an Order limiting the total volume of beer sold by the Defendants out of Whiteclay stores to an amount that can reasonably be consumed in accordance with the laws of the State of Nebraska and the OST.”

Whiteclay, which lies less than 250 feet from the Pine Ridge Reservation border, has fewer than a dozen residents and four retail stores licensed by the State of Nebraska to sell beer. According to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission in 2010 these stores sold the equivalent of 4.9 million 12-ounce servings of beer—or over 13,000 cans a day.

Defendants remain as named in the original complaint filed February 9 and the amended complaint filed February 17:

Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide, Inc.
SAB Miller d/b/a Miller Brewing Company
Molson Coors Brewing Company
Miller Coors, LLC
Pabst Brewing Company
Pivo, Inc. d/b/a High Plains Budweiser
Dietrich Distributing Co., Inc.
Arrowhead Distributing, Inc.
Coors Distributing of West Nebraska d/b/a Coors of West Nebraska
Jason Schwarting d/b/a Arrowhead Inn, Inc. (Whiteclay, Neb.)
Sanford Holdings, LLC d/b/a D&S Pioneer Service (Whiteclay, Neb.)
Stuart Kozal d/b/a/ Jumping Eagle Inn (Whiteclay, Neb.)
Clay Brehmer and Daniel Brehmer d/b/a State Line Liquor (Whiteclay, Neb.)

For a copy of the second amended complaint, visit: http://battleforwhiteclay.org/?p=1800
# # #
Contacts:
Mark Vasina, President, Nebraskans for Peace, 402-890-6958
Thomas White, White & Jorgensen Law Offices, 402-346-5700

 

LINCOLN, NEB. — A Lakota Sioux man was seriously injured in a recent controlled burn of vacant lots in Whiteclay, Neb., and family members and friends question whether firefighters were negligent in not checking the area before igniting the blaze.

OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, March 15, 2012: Man's burns spur questions about negligence

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