Shailene Woodley Attends Dakota Access Pipeline Protest, Arrested for Trespassing
Actress Shailene Woodley has been arrested for criminal trespassing.
Woodley, who starred in ABC’s “Secret Life of the American Teenager,” was protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline on Oct. 10 in Sioux County, North Dakota, when she was taken into custody by local police. She livestreamed the protest, including the arrest, on Facebook.
At the start of the two-hour video, Woodley pans her camera across a construction site speckled with protesters and police officers in riot gear. As the officers make their presence known, Woodley speaks of her fears and wonders how to remove herself from the situation, stating she “cannot get arrested.” She is heard asking for reassurance that she will not get arrested as she is led to another area of the protest.
She finds a safe-looking place atop a hill and continues to pan her camera across demonstrators, yelling in unison with others: “Keep It In The Soil” and “Stand Up, Fight Back.”
As the video continues, she tells an interviewer for Fusion.net her reasoning for participating in the protest.
“I am a 24-year-old woman who cares about not only the generations that are alive right now but the generations to come. And we’re here to protect clean water,” Woodley says. “We’re here to protect the land and to reconnect humanity to our roots, which is the Earth.”
While Woodley tried to leave the North Dakota protest site, she was stopped by police.
“I don’t know if you guys just heard me, but I was walking back to my RV, which is right there so that we can go back to camp peacefully and they grabbed me by my jacket and said that I was not allowed to continue,” she told viewers. “And they had giant guns and batons and zip ties and they’re not letting me go.”
Woodley then asks the arresting officer why she is being arrested and if her fame has played a role in her arrest, at which the officer tells her it’s because she has been identified.
“Alright I’m being arrested,” she said. “Because I was trespassing like everyone. As soon as you guys asked me to leave, I l left. She was down there, everybody was down there. I’m being arrested. I was down there with everybody else. I don’t know what’s going on. As soon as they came I left. It’s because I’m well known. It’s because I have 40,000 people watching.”
Woodley added, “So everybody knows—we were going to our vehicle which they had all surrounded and waiting for me with giant guns and a giant truck behind them just so they could arrest me. I hope you’re watching mainstream media. I hope you’re watching CNN, I hope you’re watching MSNBC.”
Protesters have contested the Dakota Access Pipeline because the pipeline is set to run across burial grounds on the Sioux reservation, which are considered sacred by tribal members in the region. The $3.7 billion project also threatens the access to clean water by locals. A federal court rejected the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request to halt construction on the project on Oct.9, prompting Monday’s protests.
In addition to Woodley, 26 other people were also reportedly arrested.