Benefit for the White Clay Legal Support Fund

September 16, 2012 in Event

Occupy Denver endorsed the following benefit at the September 13 General Assembly:

DEEP GREEN RESISTANCE, ROCKY MOUNTAIN PEACE & JUSTICE CENTER TO HOLD BENEFIT FOR ARRESTED ACTIVISTS

Friday September 21st, 6pm
Friends’ Meeting House, (1825 Upland Ave, Boulder, CO)

Deep Green Resistance and the Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center are hosting a benefit concert on Friday, September 21st at the Friends’ Meeting House (1825 Upland Ave) at 6pm. The Earth Guardians and Common Good will be contributing musical performances, and Oak Chezar will be doing a standup comedy act at the event to raise money for the legal defense of five activists who were arrested at a protest near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation last month.

The event is being organized for the benefit of five activists from Deep Green Resistance (DGR), who were arrested at the Women’s March for Peace. On August 26th, Lakota women from the Pine Ridge Reservation, their families and their allies—including DGR and the Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center—marched from Pine Ridge to the town of Whiteclay, Nebraska. Whiteclay has a population of 14, yet 4 liquor stores sell 12,500 cans of beer each day, perpetuating & profiting off the continued destruction of the Lakota, for whom alcoholism is endemic, felt by women and children on the reservation in particular, with rates of sexual assault and domestic violence double the national average.

“For over 100 years the women of the Oglala Lakota nation have been dealing with an attack on the mind body and spirit of their relatives”, says Olowan Martinez one of the organizers of the Women’s March and resident of Pine Ridge. “The Oglala have been silenced through chemical warfare waged by the corporations who are out to exploit and make a profit off of the suffering and misery of our people. The time has come to end this suffering by any means necessary.”

After the Women’s March, 5 activists from DGR locked themselves together with specially designed lockboxes, blockading the town and shutting down all alcohol sales for over 7 hours, costing the infamous stores more than $5,000 in revenue, before they were arrested by Nebraska State Patrol, and transported in a horse-trailer—in violation of state law—to jail, before being cited with three misdemeanor offenses.

Police misconduct was a theme throughout the march; a 14 year-old, defending himself from attack by some of the store owners was also arrested, and an officer sprayed pepper spray indiscriminately out the window of his cruiser, targeting women and youth, including a 10 year old boy. In light of these events, it is clear that justice has not yet been won for the residents of Pine Ridge.

“Within the context of more than 500 years of genocide at the hands of European Invaders, Whiteclay—and the excessive force of the police to protect it—is more than a criminal operation: it is a tool of genocide,” says Alex Budd of Boulder, one of the five arrested at the action. “One hundred and fifty years ago, it was smallpox infested blankets. Today, it is Whiteclay, Nebraska.”

Deep Green Resistance is committed to standing with the Lakota until the last of Whiteclay’s bars closes its doors forever, but the five arrested for civil disobedience are collectively facing up to $6,000 in fines and legal fees. In order to continue this fight, they need material support from those of us who understand the importance of victory. They are asking for donations at the door on a sliding scale of two to ten dollars from attendees of the benefit. Donations are crucial and deeply appreciated, and will go towards their legal defense and the campaign to shut down Whiteclay.

For more information, contact deepgreenresistancecolorado@riseup.net or visit www.shutdownwhiteclay.wordpress.com.