South Dakota: Protecting Bear Butte
19 June 2006
SOUTH DAKOTA: Protecting Bear Butte
From 3 July - 15 August 2006 CPT will place a small team at Bear Butte,
South Dakota, at the invitation of an Intertribal Coalition involving thirty
local tribes-- including all of the Lakota tribes with whom CPT worked in
1999 near Pierre, SD. The Coalition has organized a six-week encampment to
resist nonviolently continued development and encroachment on territory they
consider sacred. Every year, thousands of Native people travel to pray at
Bear Butte, located near Sturgis, SD in the Black Hills.
The final week of the encampment, 7-13 August will coincide with the 66th
annual Sturgis motorcycle rally which brings 500,000 bikers to the area,
creating an enormous impact on the surrounding economy and ecosystem.
Recently, developer Jay Allen broke ground for a massive new biker bar and
concert venue called the "Sturgis County Line" on 600 acres at the base of
Tribal groups strongly opposed to this development are organizing a campaign
of nonviolent direct action to stop it from proceeding. They have asked CPT
to assist with planning actions and to be on hand to help reduce tensions
and document abuses if violence is threatened.
Statement from Intertribal Coalition: www.honorearth.com/media/worddocs/whatsnew/bearbutte.doc