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Shailene Woodley's arrest is exactly what fellow DAPL protesters needed

Christina Marfice


Trending writer

Christina is a reporter based in Boise, Idaho. She's a veteran vegetarian, a political junkie and a huge grammar snob. On the weekends, she can usually be found binging on Netflix, playing the piano or petting her cats, Daisy and Dandelion.

As a fellow DAPL protester, I wasn't surprised by Shailene Woodley's arrest

Update, Oct. 19, 1 p.m. PST: Shailene Woodley's lawyer appeared on her behalf at her first court hearing and entered a not guilty plea for both charges: criminal trespassing and engaging in a riot. Woodley was not present, and her attorney also submitted a waiver so that she would not have to appear personally in the North Dakota court.

No further court dates have been set in Woodley's case.

Update, Oct. 11, 9 a.m. PST: Shailene Woodley has been released on bail after she was arrested Monday at a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site. She was one of 27 people taken into custody during a protest at the site.

Woodley was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing, and she faces up to 30 days in jail and up to $1,500 in fines.

According to Woodley's rep, "She appreciates the outpouring of support, not only for her, but more importantly, for the continued fight against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline."

Much of that outpouring of support has come from other celebs who have tweeted their support for Woodley, including The Fault in Our Stars author John Green, and actors Ansel Elgort, Mark Ruffalo and Charlie Carver.

Original story:

Shailene Woodley's arrest at a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site doesn't surprise me at all. I'm not surprised because I've been to Sacred Stone Camp. I've protested like Woodley has. And I've seen the brutal and intimidating police presence that is there to meet peaceful, prayerful protests at construction sites.

More: The Dakota Access Pipeline debate: 4 things you need to know now

Woodley was broadcasting on Facebook Live when she was told she would be arrested for criminal trespassing.

"I don’t know if you guys just heard me, but I was walking back to my RV, which is right there, so we can go back to camp peacefully, and they grabbed me by my jacket, and they said that I wasn’t allowed to continue, and they had giant guns and batons, and they’re not letting me go," she said.

To someone who hasn't been to Sacred Stone, it may seem extreme that the police grabbed Woodley by her clothes and refused to let her go. But there, it's all too common to see police overstepping their bounds and actively trying to intimidate peaceful water protectors. A National Guard checkpoint blocks access to the camp from the north with a barricade and nearly a dozen guards armed with assault rifles. Police look for any excuse they can to isolate protesters and accuse them of whatever they can. As I was leaving camp one day, I was stopped for "speeding" while my cruise control was set at the speed limit; and as the officer ran my license and issued me a warning, two more police SUVs and five more officers arrived on scene. For speeding? I don't think so.

Woodley is one of more than 100 protesters who have been arrested at protest sites near the Dakota Access Pipeline to date. Many of the arrests go unreported, so while it would be ideal that no one gets arrested, Woodley's arrest could actually be a great thing for the Native people who are protesting the pipeline's construction to protect their water and sacred sites.

Hopefully Woodley's arrest will bring more eyes to the situation at Sacred Stone. Native Americans and their allies are doing nothing more there than trying to protect their sacred, ancestral land — land that was stolen from them by white settlers and is now threatened with irreparable damage if an oil pipeline constructed there is ever to break, especially near the Missouri River, the primary water source for the Standing Rock Sioux.

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To learn more about the protests that led to Woodley's arrest or to contribute to Sacred Stone, visit their website or Facebook page.

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As a fellow DAPL protester, I wasn't surprised by Shailene Woodley's arrest
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