Protesters Search Cars for Alcohol Near Whiteclay

Reposted from the Rapid City Journal.

“Pine Ridge Indian Reservation residents who started an unofficial alcohol checkpoint outside of the Nebraska border town of Whiteclay on Wednesday night got some help from tribal law enforcement.

At 6 p.m., a group of about 25 people assembled outside Whiteclay, wearing American Indian Movement security shirts, began to stop and search vehicles traveling from the reservation to the town and back.

The effort was “one of many attempts to keep alcohol off our homeland” Olowan Martinez of Porcupine said. “These people are making hundreds of thousands of dollars off our people,” he said, referring to business owners who sell alcohol at Whiteclay stores.

Reservation police initially tried to stop the group’s roadblock about 9 p.m., saying it violated drivers’ personal rights, but after the protesters reported seeing a number of alcohol violations, police began to stop and check vehicles traveling to the reservation from Whiteclay.

Within minutes, tribal police had arrested a driver and passenger for alcohol offenses, as well as a protester for an outstanding warrant.

Nebraska law enforcement officers monitored the roadblock from their side of the state line.

Members of Deep Green Resistance, an environmental group based in California, were in Whiteclay to support the roadblock efforts. Members of that group also participated in last month’s alcohol protest in Whiteclay.”

More information will be posted soon about the outcome of our court appearance and the actions in Whiteclay afterward.  Check out the story on for more pictures.

Kate Thunder Hawk stands on S.D. Highway 87 on the border of White Clay, Neb., participating in a protest attempting to stop people smuggling alcohol onto Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

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5 Responses to Protesters Search Cars for Alcohol Near Whiteclay

  1. Bruce says:

    I am a little upset. On my drive into Nebraska, passing through White Clay, I was stopped by some young men who told me to turn around and find another way to cross the border. Being me, I drove through the blockade and made it to my destination in Nebraska. These young men didn’t try to jump in front of my vehicle to stop me. That was cool of them to save me time having to hassle with them.

    An hour later, on my way back home I was politely waived through by a Nebraska Police Officer and then was stopped at the border by a White Mob clogging up the roadway. I was astounded that a group of White people would not let me pass through to my homeland! I yelled out saying,”MOVE”, and then inched my vehicle forward. Of course the White Mob freaked out and some Tribal Members sitting in lawn chairs or standing safely away said, “That’s Bruce, let him through.” I thought, “Cool.”

    This White Mob was leaning against my van and menacing my family. The had the gall to say, “We are just checking for alcohol and drugs.” My wife, 11 year old son, 9 year old daughter and 5 year old son got very scared so of course my protection instincts kicked in. Who the hell do these White Mobsters think they are stopping me, asking question and frightening my family?

    So I inched my vehicle foward some more and it ticked off the White Mob blockading my passage back to my homeland. Then someone sitting in a lawn chair safely away from the White Mob blockading my way yelled at me for disrespecting the blockade and said, “You need to support us.”

    THEY DON’T GET IT. Don’t use a White Mob to block my pathway to the homeland. Dont have a White Mob inspect or ask about contents of my vehicle. Don’t ever have a White Mob frighten my family. I can’t and won’t support that!

    Okay, I am done ranting…so how was your day?

  2. Molly says:

    Bruce, I’m glad you said something. I read the article and was pleased to see that attempts are being made to thwart bootlegging on Pine Ridge. I hadn’t thought about it from this point of view at all. This effort is in its infancy. Please don’t give up- with your insights, we can all get better at achieving the goals without damaging each other. Best wishes to your whole family.

  3. Watching From Lincoln says:

    Those were NOT White Mobsters, those are White Allies, who have been in the past, and are still willing now and into the future to help be the voices of the Lakota in this struggle against alcohol and the Government entities that have long ignored the voices of the Lakota. These “White Mobsters” literally put their bodies on the line twice to shut down Whiteclay’s alcohol sales and were arrested the last time as White Allies with the Lakota. I know, I was there on August 26th in Whiteclay as a White Ally to support the Woman’s Day of Peace.

    Where Lakota would have been immediately maced, beaten and arrested by Sheridan County Deputies for doing those very things those “White Mobsters” did back in June and August to blockade Whiteclay, Nebraska law enforcement officials, both Sheridan County Deputies AND Nebraska State Patrol, were AFRAID to take action against those “White Mobsters” BECAUSE of the fact they were White. The point was made, Whiteclay lost a day’s worth of illegal alcohol sales, fewer Lakota women faced domestic violence those days, fewer Lakota children went neglected, fewer Lakota people were ticketed of incarcerated by either Tribal Police of Nebraska law enforcement.

    Perhaps instead of condemning those who were, WITH the Lakota’s assistance and at their request, HELPING to stop the genocide and ethnocide occurring on Pine Ridge by setting up the alcohol checkpoint, Bruce, you should join with the efforts of your Lakota brothers and sisters who are FIGHTING this scourge that is decimating your people and their rich heritage in an ACTIVE manner.

    Now I admit I wasn’t there for this action, so I don’t know the details of the checkpoint, but I would assume that the checkpoint across the highway would/should have been manned by BOTH Lakota Warrior Society/AIM members AND White Allies to avoid EXACTLY such a misunderstanding as that which you encountered. If it wasn’t manned (or womaned) in such a manner this time, then that is a teaching point that can be learned from for the next such action.

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