Lupe Fiasco Tweets for Dry Indian Reservation
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The Oglala Sioux Tribe has found an unlikely supporter in its fight against the nearby towns and beer companies that allow alcohol to reach their reservation: rapper Lupe Fiasco. Oglala's $500 million lawsuit, which claimed that nearby businesses made illegal alcohol sales, contributing to the epidemic of alcoholism on the already-impoverished Pine Ridge reservation—was just dismissed in federal court. Fiasco made an unannounced visit earlier this summer to the South Dakota reservation and the nearby town of Whiteclay (where alcohol is sold). He also gave a shout-out to Pine Ridge in his single "Around My Way (Freedom Ain't Free)" and is now encouraging his 1.3 million Twitter followers to support the fight against alcoholism with a #toasttopineridge campaign. His goal is to get 100,000 photos over the next two weeks of people toasting their support with a glass of water. "I'm not reaching out as a famous rapper or attention seeker but as a concerned spirit to show solidarity that something must be done," tweeted Fiasco. "The hope is to raise spirits and raise awareness on the situation on the Rez and similar situations elsewhere. So for the next two weeks...Skip The Beer but Keep the Cheers and join me as WE propose a #toastopineridge Calling all activists!" The tribe's lawsuit may have life yet: the federal judge dismissed it without prejudice, which means they're free to take their claims to state court.