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 August 24, 2003
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Smoke Shop Confrontation
Narragansett Indians welcome hundreds to Charlestown for rally
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  (Charlestown-AP) -- The Narragansett Indians are preparing to welcome supporters including people from the state and Indians from other tribes around the country.
   They're holding a ``unity gathering'' tonight in response to Monday's state police raid on the tribe's tax-free tobacco store. Tuesday, about two dozen members of tribe are camped out in
front of the closed smoke shop today.
   They said the raid has rekindled what they are calling the state's prejudice against minorities.
   The tribe says it's getting support from fellow Indians throughout New England, as well as others who are stopping by and signing a petition supporting the smoke shop.
   By Tuesday evening, they said more than 300 people had signed the petition.
   A ceremonial fire that was lit outside the smoke shop shortly after the raid has been burning since then. The Narragansetts say they'll keep it going until the conflict is resolved.

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