Bear Butte, South Dakota
From 3 July - 15 August 2006 CPT maintained 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 organized a six-week encampment to resist nonviolently the 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, coincided with the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally which brought an estimated 500,000 bikers to the area, creating an enormous impact on the surrounding economy and ecosystem. Most recently developer Jay Allen built a massive new biker bar and concert venue called the "Sturgis County Line" on 600 acres at the base of Bear Butte.
Tribal groups strongly opposed to this development organized a campaign of nonviolent direct action to raise their voices in opposition, and asked CPT to assist with planning actions and to be on hand to help reduce tensions and document abuses if violence was threatened.