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January 01, 2013 07:24 AM

Group Ends 2012 With Reservation Booze Blockade

LINCOLN, Ne

Activists staged 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 hosted 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 caretakers 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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