CAMP JUSTICE update 9/9/1999


Subject: CAMP JUSTICE 09/09/1999
       Date: Thu, 9 Sep 1999 19:58:09 -0400 (EDT)
       From: Mike Wicks <Mike.Wicks@mindspring.com>
Organization: American Indian Cultural Support
         To: list suppressed

From: Mike Wicks <Mike.Wicks@mindspring.com>
Official "Camp Justice" Update, which is authorized to be used as a News
Article, Special Report, Guest Editorial and to be posted on all Camp
Justice Web sites and to be submitted to media and supporters immediately.
Approved by: Tom Poor Bear , Camp Justice Leader 605-867-5821

                        FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE
                                 09-09-1999

             Native Leaders continue their vigil for Justice

Tom Poor Bear stood proud and with honor as he addressed the supporters of "Camp
Justice," an encampment of tipis and tents just outside the Nebraska/Pine Ridge
border town of Whiteclay. Looking straight out into the eyes of those before him,
Tom took a long, deep, thoughtful breath. "We are all Camp Justice," he said,
looking at each individual as he spoke. "Anyone who has supported us, in any way,
is a part of Camp Justice. We have drawn the line here; this is where we need to
stand strong to see justice prevail in the investigations of Ron and Wally's and
the other unsolved murders."

Tom organized "Camp Justice" and the weekly "March for Justice" walks to draw
attention to the unsolved murders of Wally Black Elk and Ronnie Hard Heart,
Tom's brother and cousin. These two Lakota men were found dead, brutally beaten
and mutilated a few feet from the Nebraska/South Dakota border. Today, two full
months from the discovery of their bodies, no one, not family members, not
friends, not Tribal Council, not anyone, has been granted the privilege of
knowing the status of the investigation other than autopsy reports, and being
told there are several suspects.

Nebraska and South Dakota Law Enforcement, Tribal Law Officials, and the FBI as
well, have all been involved in the case, yet the families and friends know
nothing. Most tragically, this is not the only case in question.

"Here," said Tom, "is where the Lakota people are addressing the issues that are
affecting our families, our people and our nation, making us suffer. We are not
Sioux, which means cut throat, we are Lakota, known in the old days for placing
our children, elders and community first, above all. This has not changed, and
here is where we have to demand that America, our Community Leaders, and our
Officials, take a stand and show us whether they are for the people here, or
against us."

Tom stands strong, adamant that there be no violence, adamant that all battles
be won spiritually, legally and justly. To Civil and Human rights supporters, he
stands for hope in the face of adversity; he is a man against a mountain, a
mountain that has been forming for hundreds of years. Tom has not had time to
morn the deaths of his brother and his cousin, yet has united countless
individuals in challenging justice to prevail, at the risk of his own safety, at
the risk of his own arrest.

During the 7th weekend of protest, on Sunday, August 8th "Colonel Tom" Nesbitt
representing the Nebraska law enforcement told Tom that he and other officials
wanted to see White Clay shut down because of all the trouble it causes them,
but their hands were tied legally. Under Colonel Tom's watch in White Clay,
over one hundred law officials and riot police present, stayed away from the
protesters, some staying in several large buses nearby. We only saw a few
snipers that day.

Colonel Tom allowed supporters to occupy and have lunch in the middle of town
that Sunday. The group wanted to stay, but after three hours Colonel Tom came to
the group and it was negotiated between all there that out of respect for people
in cars backed up waiting to enter Pine Ridge for the annual Pow-Wow there, that
the group would move from the center of White Clay streets and law officials
would setup road checks going into Pine Ridge. Colonel Tom assured us that he
would work on the many issues that supporters of Camp Justice have raised. But
now Nebraska law officials are saying that the main complaints are not within
their jurisdiction.

On the 11th weekend march to White Clay on September 4th, 1999 supporters stayed
in White Clay for 3-4 hours. Liquor establishments there usually have closed
down during the rally to show respect for murder victims and marchers. This week
was different, two bars were open. Frustration ran high as the leaders let people
know that they are accusing the 22 people living and working in the ugly run-down,
no toilets available town of White Clay, Nebraska, of using, abusing, exploiting,
promoting teen prostitution and possibly being involved in the most recent
unsolved murders.

Tom keeps telling those against him there, that it is his responsibility as the
Sargent at Arms for the Oglala Lakota Nation, and as a father, Community Leader
and Wounded Knee Vet, he has to be there to stand for the Human and Civil rights
of the Lakota people.  He accuses the bar owners and town of living off our
peoples alcohol sickness and giving nothing back in return...not even money for
programs to help our people and community heal from the impact and deaths caused
by their sickness.

First Tom approached Pioneer Circle Bar and asked the owner to shut down out of
respect. The owner reluctancy agreed. Then Tom walked across the street and
asked the owner of the Arrowhead Inn, well known to many of our people there as
"Dirty Lyle's" Bar, to close as well. Tom asked him four times and four
times the man stated he would not shut down. This angered Tom because it has
been alleged that this bar has been promoting teen prostitution.

Tom showed the bar owner of Arrowhead Treaty documents representing legal
commitments from the people of the United States of America. The federal
documents provided proof that White Clay belongs to the Oglala Lakota nation by
treaty. He showed where there are promises in these documents that there were to
be no liquor establishments within 20 miles of reservation boarders.

The bar owner called upon the law enforcement officials and Tom showed them the
legal documents as well and asked them as United States Citizens to uphold and
enforce the treaties, after all, it is written in the treaties that the Lakota
Nation shall be under special protection of the people of the United States of
America. The bar owner could not produce the deed he claimed superceded the
Lakota treaty documents Tom carried into White Clay.

The Nebraska and Sheridan county officials were at a standoff. They begged Tom
to return to Pine Ridge and said they did not want to arrest him, and that they
respected him. Tom said that as representatives of the United States of America
that they should protect our people from White Clay by letting us take what is
rightfully ours, or by shutting it down until the land dispute was settled. The
bar owner had Tom arrested for trespassing and he spent several hours in jail
before his supporters could raise $1,500 bond requirement, $150 in cash.

Are the officials and people who hold power over the Lakota showing us where
they stand in regards to upholding their American ancestors promises and
commitments of the past? It seems they are saying that our treaties are not
worth the paper they are printed on. Supporters wonder if the rest of America
feels the same way. Supporters are Outraged at the latest disrespect and
arrogance against Lakota people.

Written By: Sandra Matchen - (Wanbli Mani) -Sicangu Lakota,
Native American Advocate, 970-241-4711 Rosebud Sioux Tribal Member,
P.O. Box 1150, Clifton CO 81520-1150 cle@onlinecol.com
Natasha Laflin representing Friends for Native American Communities
Mike Wicks & Kathy Morning Star representing American Indian Cultural Support
Approved for release by; Tom Poor Bear organizer/leader of Camp Justice

Mike Wicks  Mike.Wicks@mindspring.com
CAMP JUSTICE internet/email Liason

http://www.aics.org/justice/camp.html

Current News Release Postings:

http://www.aics.org/justice/0909.html
http://www.aics.org/justice/0903.html
If you would like to receive a e-mail of lastest news - contact: Internet Liasion: Mike Wicks
Email Liasion: Kathy Morning Star
Email Liasion: Natasha Laflin
Related web sites for more information Letter of Support for Camp Justice by Sandra Matchen (2nd march) Native American Village Minority Job Bank - Current Native News Articles: Known Camp Justice Web Sites: ( ** ) = Current & Cooperative **American Indian Cultural Support at http://www.aics.org/justice/camp.html - with Media Links
Note: All news releases from Camp Justice must be approved by Leader, Tom Poor Bear Send money, anything you can, even if it is $5, to help with maintaining Camp Justice, along with letters of Support you have written, copies of news articles for the families of the victims (they don't get many) to: Camp Justice c/o Tom Poor Bear P.O. Box 823 Pine Ridge SD 57770 If you can, when you come to march or help maintain Camp Justice please bring lots of food, camp supplies of any kind. Money sent will be used to continue our efforts and pay the expenses. Send Donations of food & supplies for Camp Justice: Camp Justice c/o Fay Cedar Face 200 Eastridge Rd Pine Ridge, SD 57770

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