Protesters challenge business to “distribute responsibly”

Published August 31, 2007

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. – An American Indian activist and Nebraskans for Peace have challenged Anheuser-Busch to “distribute responsibly,” playing off the corporation’s advertising slogan of “drink responsibly.”

Activist Frank LaMere and members of Nebraskans For Peace stood across the street from the High Plains Budweiser distributorship in Scottsbluff as part of a protest Thursday. The group said Anheuser-Busch is not living up to its own advertising slogan by allowing sales of beer to liquor outlets in the border town of Whiteclay, south of the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

An estimated 4.5 million cans of beer are sold annually in Whiteclay, most of it to Indians from the reservation, where there is a high level of alcoholism.

Jeff Scheinost, owner of the Scottsbluff distributorship, said in a written statement that his agreement with Anheuser-Busch requires him to sell products to the licensed dealers in Whiteclay. He also said the group’s protest is not the best way to draw attention to the need for solutions in dealing with Whiteclay liquor sales and the reservation’s alcohol problems.

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