Shailene Woodley arrested while peacefully protesting Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota

Actress and activist Shailene Woodley was arrested in North Dakota on Monday after protesting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.


Actress and activist Shailene Woodley was arrested in North Dakota on Monday in the aftermath of a protest opposing the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. 

Morton County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Rob Keller confirmed Woodley’s arrest at a protest site one mile south of St. Anthony in south-central North Dakota, where construction of the pipeline was taking place.

Woodley is charged, along with 26 others, with criminal trespassing. 

Protesters are targeting the planned 1,172-mile pipeline that would carry 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day from production regions in North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa before reaching an existing pipeline in Patoka, Ill.

The Dakota Access pipeline has faced resistance from both environmental groups lobbying for decreased dependence on nonrenewable resources and Native American groups, specifically the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who would be most directly affected and argue that the construction of the pipeline disrupts sacred sites. 

Protesters were dealt a blow Monday morning when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for an injunction to halt construction. 

Woodley, who was in the midst of a two-hour Facebook livestream (some language used in the video may be deemed NSFW), was leaving the protest site  (1:55:00 on video) after an order to disperse from law enforcement. As she neared her RV she was approached by Morton County Sheriff’s officers and informed that she was being arrested for criminal trespass. The actress then handed her phone to her mother to continue streaming.

“I was just told that the cops are following me,” Woodley told her livestream, as a helicopter circles above. “Send some prayers.” (1:56:46)

“I was just 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 told me I wasn’t allowed to continue and they had giant guns and batons and zip ties and they’re not letting me go,” Woodley said, looking into the camera, the wind whipping her scarf across her face. (1:59:56)

When informed she’s being placed under arrest, Woodley questions why she’s being arrested and not other protesters. “Is it because I’m famous? Is it because people know who I am?”

The response from an off-screen officer is that she was trespassing, to which she responds, “So did hundreds of people, we all did.”

At that point, two of the three officers tasked with arresting Woodley stated, “You were identified.” (2:00:46)

As she was taken away by officers, Woodley turned back to her mother, who was still filming and said, “I hope you’re watching, mainstream media.” (2:01:40)

Woodley was then transferred to Morton County Jail in Mandan, 16 miles north of the protest site. 

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5:47 p.m.: This post was updated with more context about the output of the pipeline.

This post was originally published at 12:35 p.m. on Oct. 10, 2016