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American Indian activist is fined in alcohol-sales protest

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OMAHA, Neb. — American Indian activist Russell Means was fined $100 after pleading no contest to an obstruction charge.

Means was one of nine Indian leaders arrested during a July 3 march to Whiteclay, Neb., to protest non-Indian stores that sell millions of dollars in beer to people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where alcohol is illegal.

The defendants, including American Indian Movement activist Clyde Bellecourt, had been charged with failing to comply with a lawful order and obstructing a police officer during the protest.

In fining Means on Thursday, Sheridan County Judge Charles Plantz said he viewed the crime as an act of civil disobedience, not a violent act.