Great Plains Activist Accused of Vandalizing Liquor Delivery Truck in Whiteclay

25 May

from Earth First! Newswire

LINCOLN, Nebraska – Activist T.R. McKenzie was arrested yesterday, May 24, on charges stemming from an incident on May 3, 2013, where a group confronted a delivery truck. Allegations include someone flashing a knife and telling the driver to leave town while others threw beer containers into the street. The truck’s two front tires were also slashed. (Bravo, to whoever the warriors were behind this bold act!)

McKenzie is an activist with DGR, which has kept up a campaign against the liquor stores in Whiteclay. For the purposes of dialogue it is crucial to discuss this campaign and its tactics. But more than that, it is important now to stand in solidarity with McKenzie and all others under state repression—regardless of whatever infighting (or “horizontal hostility”) might be occurring within the movement. 

McKenzie was picked up in Lincoln prior to his scheduled appearance at a press conference at the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission, where he was planning to speak about the most recent in a long history of documented code violations and human rights abuses committed by alcohol sellers in Whiteclay, Nebraska.

TRArrest_Color-225x300

This poster was released by Deep Green Resistance, McKenzie is actively involved with DGR Great Plains

McKenzie was held for six hours at the Lancaster County Jail on charges of theft, criminal mischief, third degree assault, and terroristic threats. He was released on bond the same day as his arrest.This arrest comes in the wake of several weeks of protests and encampments on the outskirts of Whiteclay.

“Most of those sleeping at the protest camp are women and children,” McKenzie said shortly after his release. “We are all working to draw attention to the devastation caused to the Lakota people by the sale of alcohol in Whiteclay.”

Whiteclay has a population of 14, yet 4 liquor stores in the town sell 12,500 cans of beer each day. It has been documented that the stores sell to bootleggers, intoxicated people, and minors, as well as routinely trade beer for sexual favors. The tiny, unincorporated town lies less than 300 feet from the border of the Pine Ridge Reservation, where the sale and consumption of alcohol is prohibited.

McKenzie has participated in a variety of protests against the activities of Whiteclay’s bar owners and alcohol distributors over the last year, most recently participating in a protest camp near Whiteclay on the Pine Ridge side of the border, named the “Zero Tolerance Camp” by its supporters.

Earlier today, McKenzie was placed under arrest by two “plain-clothes” officers who followed him into a public restroom upon his arrival at the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission building in Lincoln.  Opposition to the activities of Whiteclay’s bar owners has been long-standing, but over the past few weeks, protest activity has seen a distinct increase following recent allegations that a bar owner by the name of Jason Schwarting provided individuals with baseball bats and instructed them intimidate and physically attack women at the Zero Tolerance Camp.  McKenzie had been scheduled to read a statement at the press conference which included his testimony about this incident.

McKenzie’s court date has been set for June 6th, 2013.

For more information about human rights abuses at Whiteclay, visit shutdownwhiteclay.wordpress.com

Local corporate media out of Omaha, KETV 7 offered some additional details on the incident (as well as a video clip):

A group that opposes alcohol sales in Whiteclay is alleging that one of its beer store owners gave baseball bats and a stick to men who frequent the town, and told them to attack the protesters’ encampment on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.     

One of those activists was arrested Friday in Lincoln on [alleged] charges that he vandalized a beer truck in the Nebraska border town.  

Authorities said 33-year-old Timothy R. McKenzie Jr., of Jefferson, S.D., was arrested on a warrant out of Sheridan County, Neb., when he went to file a complaint with the State Liquor Control Commission.

McKenzie alleges in a letter to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission that Jason Schwarting, owner of the Arrowhead Inn, told men in Whiteclay to attack the nearby encampment.       

An Arrowhead Inn employee disputed the allegations, but said Schwarting was not immediately available for comment.

Longtime Native American leader Frank Lamere is upset about the arrest.

“I hope they investigate those claims with the same exuberance as they did when they arrested him in a downstairs bathroom,” he said.

Lamere said tensions are growing in Whiteclay, a town with the population of 14 people and four liquor stores. Photos and video on Facebook show the zero tolerance encampment protestor set up across the South Dakota border on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

“All we are doing is trying to keep a presence of resistance against the enemy, which is alcohol,” one protestor said.

Lamere said he, along with Nebraskans for Peace, came to Lincoln calling for restraint and cooperation, but the arrest makes the situation worse.

“All the state patrol did, all the liquor control commission, did was throw grease on the fire,” he said.

McKenzie posted a $1,000 on a $10,000 bond. He was released from the Lancaster County Jail Friday afternoon. 

For more information about human rights abuses at Whiteclay, visit shutdownwhiteclay.wordpress.com

Check out EF! Newswire feature, “Crazy Horse was a Sober Warrior”, by Russ McSpadden.

14 Responses to “Great Plains Activist Accused of Vandalizing Liquor Delivery Truck in Whiteclay”

  1. Ben Barker May 25, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    And by “Great Plains Activist”, you mean “DGR Activist”.

    • Earth First! Journal Cascadia Office May 25, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      “McKenzie is an activist with DGR, which has kept up a campaign against the liquor stores in Whiteclay. For the purposes of dialogue it is crucial to discuss this campaign and its tactics. But more than that, it is important now to stand in solidarity with McKenzie and all others under state repression—regardless of whatever infighting (or “horizontal hostility”) might be occurring within the movement.”

      Thanks for your solidarity, Ben.

      • wow May 28, 2013 at 10:57 am #

        wow Ben, EarthFirst, publisher of private emails between activists and COINTELPRO participant of the new era is gonna tell you something about “solidarity.” You better listen, or maybe they’ll issue a proclamation about their denunciation of you.

      • Earth First! Journal Cascadia Office May 28, 2013 at 11:41 am #

        Hey wow, Solidarity and collective liberation are crucial to us here at EF!, and many of our key organizers are trans folk. When you exclude trans folk, you exclude us. Thanks for your solidarity.

      • Earth First! Journal Sonoran Office May 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

        You know its gotten silly when COINTELPRO is getting thrown around left and right. We all know that DGR and EF! and lots of other organizations do a great job of putting their stupid feet in their mouth time and time again. COINTELPRO probably took a vacation after DGR jumped on the “trans critical” movement just like they did after Dave Foreman started spouting hateful shit about immigrants.

        By they way, what is the “new era?” Sounds creepy.

      • Earth First! Journal Cascadia Office May 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

        Sonora, I thought when they said COINTELPRO they were talking about Derrick working with the FBI. Now that I thin about it, though, they are saying that COINTELPRO in the “new era” of Facebook(?) and social media doesn’t need to exist, because activists can hack each others emails.
        Then again, COINTELPRO mostly consisted of “grey” and “black” propaganda, which entailed releasing misleading or false information to the press and/or other activist groups. If leaking hateful emails is COINTELPRO, then I guess Bradley Manning and Wikileaks are COINTELPRO too? Oh crap, the wind just blew away my tinfoil hat!

  2. R May 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    So this guy thinks he’s the morality police???? Will “white man” books be burned next?

    Why are we supporting this guy???

    • North Feralina May 25, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Are you joking? What web page do you think you’re on? Who is this “we” you speak of if not the “we” who supports indigenous resistance to colonialism as allies with those who share our goals of a wild planet. Also, since when is attacking corporate property that’s poisoning our communities even controversial?

      • R May 26, 2013 at 5:34 am #

        Sorry, my “friend” posted that remark. I hadn’t logged out of my account. GO T.R.!!!

    • North Feralina May 26, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

      Lolz, IGTT 10/10 for using someone else’s account and soliciting a serious response.

      • R May 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

        Although I have no idea what IGTT 10/10 means, I apologize again. I am sorry that your time was wasted(actually not totally wasted b/c your response was good). I am also sorry if T.R. was upset in any way.

  3. Earth First! Journal Sonoran Office May 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Yep, thought that was a weird comment. The work DGR has been doing with the Lakota is pretty powerful.

    • T.R. May 27, 2013 at 12:40 am #

      Thank you EF! for the support, I very much appreciate it.

    • Bern C. May 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      That would be snitching to the state about alleged liquor sales to minors? Supporting criminalization of alcohol possession? How exactly is this not just as conservative/reactionary as DGR’s transphobia?

      Whoever throws people in jail is worthy of contempt. Whoever supports the jailers and the police is equally contemptible.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: