Local News & Activist Reports: Sioux Falls
On May 7, an Oglala Sioux woman from Wounded Knee, S.D., won a historic ruling in Federal Court. Lavetta Elk won $600,000 from the federal government after an Army recruiter sexually assaulted her in January 2003.
On April 28, an overflow crowd packed a coffee shop screening of "Battle for Whiteclay," hosted by the South Dakota ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). The film documents the struggle of the residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and their allies to shut down four predatory liquor stores across the border in Whiteclay, Neb.
Nov. 4 brought a major victory to the working class of South Dakota. For the second time in two years, voters defeated an abortion ban by 55 percent to 45 percent. Out of 66 counties, three counties that voted for the ban in 2006 voted against it in 2008.
Party for Socialism and Liberation member Amanda Todd received 11.1 percent of the vote in the April 8th Sioux Falls, S.D., city council election. A first-time candidate, Todd placed third behind the winner, Kenny Anderson Jr.
Police killings of working-class people do not happen in South Dakota as often as in big cities like Oakland or New York. South Dakota police officers, however, can and do shoot people without worrying about the repercussions.