For Immediate News Release, 31 January 2001
Please send this news release far and wide, especially to media sources.
Still Standing Strong and True For Justice
From: Camp Justice, Organizers, Leaders and Supporters of "Camp Justice" and the "March for Justice" to White Clay, Nebraska
Still Standing Strong and True For Justice
Camp Justice has reorganized and now has a new official web site. Camp Justice organizers wish to thank supporter and friend, Jordan Dill for all his encouragement and help in building and maintaining our new site (see http://dickshovel.com/cj.html). He will also be helping us with a new Camp Justice mailing list to honor, support, protect our organizers, volunteers and supporters.
The "White Clay Six" Warriors for Justice are charged with failure to comply with a lawful order and obstruction of Justice for crossing into White Clay, Nebraska on July 3, 1999 to protest against unsolved murders, liquor sales and to reclaim White Clay. They appeared before Judge Charles Plantz in Sheridan County Court in Rushville, Nebraska on January 21st at 1:00pm. Camp Justice lawyer, Jerry Matthews will not be renewing his licence to practice law in Nebraska and has been granted permission from the court to withdraw as legal council. We appreciate all that Jerry has done for us, pro-bono. He states he will still help us. We wish him well in all that he does. We are in need of a strong, compassionate lawyer licensed to practice in Nebraska.
The "White Clay Six" Warriors for Justice who were arrested are still standing strong. They are Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) President John Steele, OST Sergeant at Arms Tom Poor Bear, Webster Poor Bear, Frank LaMere, Benedict "Bennie" Black Elk and Gary Moore.
The District Attorney has offered the "White Clay Six" a deal. If one of the six agrees to stand trial, charges will be dropped for the other five. At this time, the six have stated that they will stand strong together to the very end and they want to be tried by a jury of their peers not by the court. Their final decision is expected in about a week.
On January 3rd members of Camp Justice went before the OST executive committee to ask them to take a strong position and join Camp Justice in applying pressure to federal, state and local authorities in seeking justice and accountability. This, with regard to all the unsolved murders in Sheridan County and Western South Dakota. They also demanded accountability with regard to the murder investigations. The OST executive committee voted unanimously to help Camp Justice as well as seek justice for our people who are exploited by the liquor establishments in White Clay.
We have lost many of our people due to the activities of the White Clay liquor businesses. These businesses do not protect our people, do not offer security, protection or help for those leaving their establishments and do not offer any kind of help or funding to address the alcohol sickness they contribute to. They continue to make millions of dollars per year in liquor sales, mainly from our people. Deaths, beatings, rapes, car accidents and families have been lost and torn apart due to the actions of these businesses. It's time to hold them accountable for the losses and tragedies that have occurred.
Therefore, Camp Justice is still actively involved in protesting the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission's decision to continue issuing liquor licenses in White Clay, Nebraska...a town that continues to be a source of destruction and exploitation of the Lakota People... town that is in direct defiance of existing Treaties and Presidential Orders. President Chester A. Arthur issued an Executive Order in 1882 to protect Native American Indians from traveling to White Clay to sell or barter goods for alcohol. This order has been ignored.
On February 12, 2001 members of Camp Justice, the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) and Nebraskans For Peace (NFP) will travel to Lincoln, NE to address the Nebraska Liquor Commission concerning White Clay liquor sales issues and concerns. The agenda will be released next week.
Attorney James Abourezk of Abourezk Law Firm needs money for research. He has been working on White Clay land issues and wrote a letter to Vice President Al Gore (this letter will soon be available at the Camp Justice web site) requesting that President Clinton rescind President Roosevelt's executive orders pertaining to White Clay. Lynn Cutler, the Indian Specialist for the White House stated "That is not going to happen." Mr. Abourezk is now trying to approach the Bush administration to rescind the orders. Tom Poor Bear, with the help of the OST, is trying to get the Native American Rights Fund legal team to help Mr. Abourezk on OST land issues.
Camp Justice organizers ask supporters to continue to show support by faxing letters of support to Camp Justice at 605-462-6518 and to local media in their area. We need help with legal fee funding for an attorney. Those maintaining Camp Justice are still in need of donations and supplies to help feed visitors, maintain the camp, buy calling cards, transportation and to continue the occupation. Several elders have moved to the camp.
Camp Justice and the weekly Walks for Justice to White Clay were established shortly after Wally Black Elk and Ron Hard Heart were brutally beaten, mutilated and found dead near the Nebraska/South Dakota border on June 8, 1999. They were last seen about 10:30pm on June 6th walking from White Clay back to Pine Ridge.
The reward for information leading to an arrest of the murderer(s) of Wally and Ron has been increased to $40,000. We are still trying to get the reward increased to $50,000. Officials refuse to release information specific to the investigation. We want to know what they are hiding and when they intend to inform us of the details or account for missing statements and leads that were made. Several family members of Ron and Wally are filing a law suit against officials for the inadequate way investigations were conducted.
Camp Justice goals are to keep the pressure on local, state and federal law enforcement, to solve the murders of Wally and Ron, to maintain a physical and spiritual presence at Camp Justice so as to ensure that no other beatings or murders occur. Camp Justice hopes to create a public awareness campaign within our tribe, the state, and on a national level regarding the issues of the disparity of justice that exists for our Lakota people. Camp Justice wants to highlight criminal activity that is occurring in White Clay; i.e. underage drinking, prostitution, assaults, deaths from drunk driving, thefts, and murders. Finally, Camp Justice wants to reclaim the town of White Clay which clearly belongs to the Oglala Oyate by treaty.
Camp Justice organizers wish to thank all the supporters who came to Amherst, Mass. to help raise funds to continue our advocacy efforts. It has been reported to us that $1,300 was raised and given to organizer Loren Black Elk (who maintains the camp). Loren reports funds were used for transportation and to purchase supplies for the camp. Organizers had intended to install electricity at the camp but decided to postpone installation until the ground thaws. They also used a portion of the funds to obtain supplies to keep the camp going through the harsh winter. Members of Camp Justice are now helping with the 28th Annual Wounded Knee memorial activities to be held February 24, 2001.
Camp Justice strives to work in a good way with the media and human and civil rights volunteers and organizations.
Members of Camp Justice are continuing to assist with security and support to help protect the Sacred Cannupa and the Grass Roots elders, families and visitors occupying the Red Cloud Tribal Building whose mission is to address issues of corruption in Pine Ridge and throughout the homelands.
Camp Justice will continue to stand United and Strong in our efforts to obtain the Justice and Accountability our nation deserves and expects.
In the Spirit of Human & Civil Justice,
Written and Presented on behalf of:
Camp Justice & March for Justice Lakota Oyate Organizers
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