Video: Shailene Woodley's Dakota Pipeline Arrest Was Streamed On Facebook Live
Protests against the Dakota Access pipeline have ramped up after the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a request from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for a permanent injunction to halt the project on Sunday, reports NBC News.
On Monday morning, a group of activists and Indigenous peoples gathered at a construction site in Sioux County, North Dakota to protest the pipeline. Among the protestors was actress Shailene Woodley, who'd joined in on the protests in the past, and had claimed that she'd taken on a role in the dystopian-tinged Divergent series because it espoused a message of environmental preservation, according to the Bismark Tribune.
Woodley broadcast a couple hours of Monday's protest on Facebook Live. On camera, Woodley said that the action was a direct result of the Court of Appeals' decision. "We decided to show up and stand in solidarity with Standing Rock," said Woodley, "to show the world, the mainstream media, and the government that we're not going to back down, regardless of what decisions they make."
While police had come out in riot gear, and while there were some verbal barbs being traded between both parties, the event was a largely peaceful one. Eventually, the protestors decided to leave the site, but then Woodley noticed that the RV she had used to travel to the site was surrounded by law enforcement. There was also a huge tank for some reason. "I was just told the cops are following me. Send some prayers," she told her Facebook faithful audience.
She then confronted the police to ask about what was going on, and was told that she was being arrested for "criminal trespassing" (at around the 2 hour mark of the video). She asked why she was being detained when "hundreds" of others were being allowed to leave. Police said that it was because she'd been "identified," which we presume to mean that they'd looked her up on IMDB.
"Alright, I'm being arrested," Woodley says into the camera, which is now being wielded by her mother. She also notes (aloud) that the main reason why she's being detained is "because I'm well-known. It's because I have forty thousand people watching." According to the Guardian, 26 other protestors were also detained at the site.
The arrest prompted the hashtag #FreeShailene:
The Dakota Access pipeline, which comprises of a 1,170-mile pipeline that runs across four states, is funded by a Dallas-based company called Energy Transfer Partners. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says that construction would desecrate sacred sites and potentially taint drinking water. According to Native News Online, an American Indian publication based in Florida, construction crews have already "destroyed and desecrated confirmed sacred and historic sites, including burials and cultural artifacts." The pipeline is slated to run as close as a half-mile within Standing Rock's reservation. If completed, the project will cut through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, and is expected to transport a half-million barrels of crude oil daily.
LAist called the Morton County Sheriff's Department to inquire about Woodley's status. We were redirected to a separate media line that was created specifically for the Dakota Access pipeline issue because, according to the operator, the office has been "bombarded" with calls about the issue (and Woodley, of course). No one was immediately available for a comment, however.