For Whiteclay Protesters, Blockade is Personal

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Activists are preparing for a New Year’s Eve protest of beer sales in the Nebraska town of Whiteclay, and for many of them it’s personal.
Two Native American groups are hosting the Monday night blockade to disrupt the flow of alcohol into South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Tribal leaders have long blamed Whiteclay for alcoholism and poverty on the officially dry reservation.
Protest organizer Autumn Two Bulls says she spent months watching her 38-year-old mother die of cirrhosis. Two Bulls says her mother was an alcoholic who frequently left her with abusive care-takers so she could go drinking in Whiteclay.
Olowan Martinez says she battled a drinking problem for years, and Whiteclay was the easiest place to buy beer because it’s so close to the reservation’s main village.


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