Alcohol Justice plans Whiteclay protest Saturday
Women from the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe and other groups will hold a march Saturday against alcohol at Whiteclay, according to the group Alcohol Justice.
The march will begin from the four-way stop sign in Pine Ridge and continue to Whiteclay, Neb.
"The whole world watches as we fight to save our nation from the mental disease of alcoholism," said activist Olowan Martinez.
Over the past few months, tension has intensified between Pine Ridge activists, Whiteclay liquor store owners, and the Pivo Anheuser-Busch beer distributor. In several instances, activists successfully blockaded the delivery of Budweiser beer to the local Whiteclay liquor stores.
Since April 30, activists have maintained a Zero Tolerance Camp along the border to document what they claim are illegal activities committed by Whiteclay liquor store owners, such as selling to intoxicated patrons and solicitation.
Activists also charge that the illegal alcohol activity and bootlegging have not been stopped in Whiteclay because of heavy financial contributions to Nebraska legislators from Anheuser-Busch, alcohol distributors and alcohol trade associations.
Alcohol Justice says that two-thirds of the adults on Pine Ridge Reservation suffer from alcoholism and 25 percent of its youth suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome.
Two weeks ago, tribal members on the Pine Ridge Reservation approved a measure overturning the previous ban on possessing and selling alcohol. The election results were challenged by opponents and the outcome of the election was still unclear as of Friday afternoon.