CHICAGO, USA – Shailene Woodley, of the Divergent film series, was arrested Monday, October 10, while participating in a protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near a pipeline construction site.
The Dakota Access Pipeline has been the subject of a months-long protest, in which Native Americans and their supporters have camped out in the state’s prairie lands to block the pipeline’s route underneath the Missouri River and the adjoining man-made Lake Oahe.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says the project threatens its drinking water source, and could destroy ancient sacred sites near the tribe’s reservation, which is less than a mile from the pipeline.
Woodley was charged with criminal trespass and engaging in a riot, the Morton County Sherrif’s office said. She posted a $500 fine and is due in court on October 24.
Woodley livestreamed the protest and her arrest on Facebook, showing police with armored vehicles and riot gear. The video had garnered almost 2.4 million views by the early evening hours.
“Oh my God, there’s so much riot police… They all have batons… I’m shaking, this is so scary,” Woodley says in the video.
“They grabbed me by my jacket and said I couldn’t continue and they have giant, like, guns and batons and zip ties and they’re not letting me go,” she adds as she’s being placed under arrest.
Dozens of police can be seen taking position, wearing helmets and bulletproof vests, and armed with rifles.
A total of 27 people were arrested, Morton County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Rob Keller told Agence France-Presse.
There have been repeated clashes over the last several months between protesters, pipeline workers and police, and a total of 123 arrests, authorities said.
The protest has also received vocal support from Hollywood celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Susan Sarandon.
After Shailene’s arrest, many others tweeted their support for her and the protest.
SHAI WAS ARRESTED TODAY for protesting the North Dakota Pipeline. Read about what she was protesting herehttps://t.co/wCuQaaYRmJ— Ansel Elgort (@AnselElgort) October 10, 2016
You can arrest someone but you CANNOT silence them… https://t.co/hGvzmiYArD— Maggie Q (@MaggieQ) October 10, 2016
US government seeks halt of pipeline
The US government also reiterated on Monday its request that construction of the oil pipeline in North Dakota be paused, while authorities consider the impacts of its route on a Native American tribe.
A month ago, the federal government had asked the pipeline’s operator, Energy Transfer Partners, to pause construction within 20 miles (32 kilometers) of the disputed area, while authorities evaluate the tribe’s claims.
But a federal appeals court Sunday denied the tribe’s request to order a temporary stop to construction, prompting the Departments of Justice, Army, and Interior to once again issue a statement of support. The Army controls the permitting process for US navigable waterways.
“We also look forward to a serious discussion during a series of consultations… on whether there should be nationwide reform on the tribal consultation process for these types of infrastructure projects,” the statement said.
The standoff between the Sioux tribe and the pipeline’s builder has grown into a protest movement in the United States, emboldening Indian tribes, environmentalists, and advocates for Native Americans.
If fully constructed, the Dakota Access Pipeline would pass through four states, carrying oil extracted in North Dakota near the Canadian border, 1,172 miles southeast to Illinois. – Rappler.com