Actress Shailene Woodley arrested at Dakota Access Pipeline protest
MORTON COUNTY, North Dakota — Shailene Woodley has been arrested, according to a spokesperson for the Morton County, North Dakota, Sheriff’s Department.
The “Divergent” and “Snowden” movie actress was placed in handcuffs and taken into custody for trespassing while protesting the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline on Monday afternoon, the spokesperson said.
Protestors say the project will damage the environment as well as impacting historically significant Native American tribal lands. Thousands of people from more than 200 Native American tribes have supported the Standing Rock Sioux’s efforts to protect their lands, waters and sacred sites during construction, the tribe said.
Woodley, 24, was among an estimated 200 protesters.
Arrest recorded on Facebook Live
In a statement Monday night, Woodley’s publicist said the actress and activist had been released from the Morton County Jail. Woodley posted a $500 bond and was charged with criminal trespass and engaging in a riot, according to CNN affiliate KFYR. Her first court date is scheduled for October 24.
Woodley filmed her arrest on Facebook Live and posted it to her official page. The video has been viewed more than 2.7 million times.
“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,” Woodley said in the video. “And they had giant guns and batons and zip ties and they’re not letting me go.”
In the video, a deputy is heard telling Woodley, “You are going to be placed under arrest for criminal trespassing.” Woodley then asks the deputy, “Why am I being arrested but no one else down there is?”
More than 20 other protestors reportedly were arrested with Woodley.
Her publicist said Woodley “appreciates the outpouring of support, not only for her, but more importantly, for the continued fight against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
Protesters have clashed with private security for weeks over the controversial pipeline. Some, including Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, have been arrested for trespassing and criminal mischief. Demonstrators have accused the security firm of using pepper spray and tear gas on the crowd.
The pipeline’s developer, Energy Transfer Partners, has defended the $3.7 billion project, saying it would help the United States become less dependent on importing energy from unstable regions of the world.
If completed, the pipeline would carry 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day from North Dakota to Illinois.
Energy Transfer said the pipeline would bring an estimated $156 million in sales and income taxes to state and local governments. It would also add 8,000 to 12,000 construction jobs, the developer said.
But about 30 environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, have slammed the pipeline project, calling it “yet another example of an oil pipeline project being permitted without public engagement or sufficient environmental review.”‘
Protesters are also worried that digging the pipeline under the Missouri River could affect the drinking water supply if the pipeline breaks.
Latest on the legal battle
On Sunday, a DC circuit court denied the Sioux motion for an injunction against the construction of the pipeline.
In a two-page filing, the court said that the tribe had not met the burden required to grant the injunction that would have halted construction. However, the court noted that a necessary easement was still awaiting government approval, which is likely weeks away.
In response to the ruling, the Department of the Army said it would not authorize any construction on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until approval was granted. The Department of Justice, Department of the Army and Department of the Interior requested that Energy Transfer voluntarily pause all construction within 20 miles east of west of the lake.