Hundreds protest in SLC against Dakota Access Pipeline

Posted at 9:38 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-16 01:14:42-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Tuesday night Salt Lake City was one of more than a hundred cities across the nation to join in protest against the North Dakota Pipeline. It was the largest protest here in Utah for the Sioux Reservation.

Hundreds gathered to protest construction of a pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Although the issue is hundreds of miles away it hits close to home for many Utahans.

“It's encouraging in a lot of ways because the native people have been fighting for years - hundreds of years - for simple recognition,” said Moroni Benally with the Utah League of Native American Voters.

The march ended at the Salt Lake City & County Building, where protesters filled the city council chamber's extra rooms and the hallways moments before Tuesday's city council meeting. At the meeting, demonstrators showed their gratitude for the Salt Lake City Council, who voted to approve a resolution to show their support for Standing Rock.

Having this much support for indigenous rights and the environment is incredibly encouraging,” Benally said.

Supporters of Standing Rock hope Tuesday's march is one of the first of many steps toward uniting people.

“If you're human and you drink water and you care how other human beings are being treated, then you belong here and we're looking for you and we need you to help,” Jackson said.

On Tuesday afternoon, just before the protest, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced they want to hold off on issuing permits to dig on federal land near Standing Rock Reservation. Protesters said they’re grateful for the announcement, but there’s still a long road ahead.