The Nebraska Liquor Control Board has recently voted unanimously to end the 130 year reign of Whiteclay, Nebraska as the go-to watering hole for the residents of the dry Pine Ridge Oglala Sioux reservation. The town has long served as a means by which the reservation’s residents, many of whom have historically struggled with alcoholism, could bypass the blanket ban on alcohol sales in their hometown. The recent vote is the first step towards permanently removing the relatively easy access to alcohol for the area’s Natives.
However, the owners of the four stores that make up the town have vowed not to go down without a fight. Their lawyer, Andrew Snyder, has stated that there are serious procedural issues with how the vote was carried out. He also feels there are substantive issues of law that may prevent the vote from ultimately being accepted as binding. But legal issues aren’t the only ones being faced by those who wish to see Whiteclay consigned to the history books.
Sheriff Terry Robbins, Sheridan County, Nebraska’s, top cop, says that Whiteclay, within his jurisdiction, actually served as a sort of release valve for the worst drunks of the Pine Ridge reservation. Robbins, with decades of law enforcement experience, says that these types of alcoholics will get their fix one way or another. He fears that the removal of the easy booze available in Whiteclay will only lead to a dramatic increase in drunk driving within his county, as liquor-seekers take to the roads, driving hundreds of miles to score beer.
On May 8, a large number of Avaaz activists turned out in order to celebrate the election results in France. This was also the anniversary of allied forces achieving victory on this day in 1945 in World War II. All had assembled at the Eiffel Tower. This is where Elie Buzyn joined them. He is a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp and is 88 years old today. He asked all the Avaaz activists to continue to support their elected president as well as keep on working for stopping extremism.
He remembered all about his days at Auschwitz and his parents dying during WW II. He is well aware that extremism has harsh repercussions. Buzyn along with other minorities had been worried about the presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, winning the election as he is an extremist. Hence all of them were relieved once Emmanuel Macron was elected.
During the celebration of the election results, these Avaaz activists were holding signs that were expressing the fact that they opposed racial intolerance. These demonstrators favored peace, unity along with vigilance. There were activists from many other nations in this rally. This is when Buzyn also reminded participants to stay involved in the legislative elections in France.
Avaaz is an activist group. It is headquartered in the New York City. The group organizes campaigns all across the world. It has over 40 million members from 200 nations. The staff at Avaaz is using 15 different languages in order to communicate with all of them. This is a group that was established nearly a decade ago. A number of progressive organizations had come together to create it.
The organization is focusing on armed conflicts, economic issues, besides climate change as well as animal rights. It has a wide portfolio of highly diverse campaigns.