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Kansas City Council Passes Resolution In Solidarity With Standing Rock Sioux

Lisa Rodriguez
KCUR 89.3
Hundreds of people gathered in September along the Missouri River park to protest the Dakota Access pipeline, which has been approved to pass under the Missouri River. The Kansas City Council approved a resolution opposing the pipeline on Thursday.

To cheers from an enthusiastic crowd, the full Kansas City council unanimously approved a resolution in opposition to the construction of the planned Dakota Access Pipeline.

Various groups in Kansas City have joined protests across the country in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has led a movement against the construction of the pipeline on native lands. 

The pipeline, which would run underneath the Missouri River in central South Dakota, could pose a threat to drinking water all along the Missouri River, including Kansas City, said Councilman Quinton Lucas.

Aside from it being an environmental issue, Councilwoman Kathryn Shields said its a social justice issue. Shields sponsored the resolution.

She said the pipeline was originally going to pass north of Bismark, North Dakota, but it was rerouted through native tribal lands to accommodate the concerns of Bismark residents who feared a break in the pipeline. 

"As you can see from  the individuals in this audience ... this is really an issue that touches many of us in this community and across the United States," Shields said. 

Councilwoman Teresa Loar echoed Shield's sentiment, adding that after the election this week of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, it's even more important to stand in support of Standing Rock. Trump has yet to publicly take a position on the project. 

"We are going to have to stand together and we are going to have to stand for social justice and we are going to have to support one another," Loar said.   

The resolution is mostly symbolic, although Lucas suggested that the city let its lobbyists in Washington D.C. know about the city's position on the issue. 

Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Connect with her on Twitter @larodrig

Slow news days are a thing of the past. As KCUR’s news director, I want to cut through the noise, provide context to the headlines, and give you news you can use in your daily life – information that will empower you to make informed decisions about your neighborhood, your city and the region. Email me at lisa@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @larodrig.
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