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Activists: Whiteclay Protest Ended Peacefully

January 1, 2013, 1:33 PM

Activists: Whiteclay Protest Ended Peacefully

Activists say a New Year's Eve protest of beer sales in Whiteclay ended peacefully, with three of the Nebraska town's four alcohol stores closing early and making very few late-night sales to Native Americans.

Native American activist Olowan Martinez said Tuesday that two of the four stores had already shut their doors when protesters arrived at 9 p.m., and a third closed around 10 p.m. The stores usually close at midnight.

Martinez credited the Oglala Sioux Tribe's police department for setting up an alcohol checkpoint between Whiteclay and South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where alcohol is banned. In August, several activists were arrested after they locked arms and blocked the main road through town.

Critics blame Whiteclay for alcoholism and poverty on the reservation.

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