Shailene Woodley Arrested at Protest Over Dakota Access Pipeline
By Jackie Willis
Shailene Woodley was arrested on Monday for criminal trespassing after protesting the construction of an oil pipeline that is to run through North and South Dakota, the Morton County Sheriff's Office confirmed with ET.
On Sunday, a federal court rejected the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's request to halt construction on the project, which the tribe claims would destroy some of their sacred sites and contaminate ground water. The 24-year-old actress, along with other protestors, joined the tribe to take a stand against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline that will span 1,100 miles across the Dakotas and into the Missouri River.
According to police, Woodley was arrested around 12:05 p.m. along with 27 other people. "The charges she has are both Class D misdemeanors for criminal trespass and engaging in a riot," sheriff officials tell ET of the actress' arrest. "Today's event was a riot."
During the course of the protest, Woodley posted to Facebook Live, and documented when "riot police" showed up on the scene. "Riot police are arriving at this peaceful protest where people are praying," Woodley states in the video while panning to show the protest. "Does this look threatening to you guys? It doesn't to me."
"This is America ...and look what were faced with when trying to protect our water," she adds.
Later on in the Facebook Live post, Woodley is heard talking to a police officer who says, "We can't talk right here, but you're going to be placed under arrest for criminal trespassing."
The Divergent star also claims she was "grabbed" during the protest. "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 says. "And they had giant guns and batons and zip ties and they're not letting me go."
"Alright, I'm being arrested," Woodley continues. "Because I was trespassing like everyone. As soon as you guys asked me to leave, I 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."
Last month, Woodley brought Bobby Jean from the Standing Rock tribe to the Snowden premiere in New York City, and the women spoke to ET's Carly Steel about why they felt compelled to "bring awareness" to this issue.
"They're trying to collect, protect clean water, not only for indigenous communities but for all communities around the world," Woodley explained. "Right now, we're privileged. We can buy water for a dollar, a water bottle for a dollar. We can turn on our faucets and have tap water. But in 10, 15, 20 years, when our kids are grown up, who knows if you'll still be able to still buy a bottle of water for a dollar. It could be $8, $10. ...It's going to become a valued commodity."