Shailene Woodley Penned a Letter About Her Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Arrest

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National Geographic Channel "Before the Flood" Screening
Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for National Geographic

Shailene Woodley was arrested in North Dakota last week while protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is being built on grounds considered sacred by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. After pleading not guilty to criminal trespass and rioting charges on Wednesday, the actress has now penned a statement for Time explaining her commitment to the cause. She also expresses dismay that it took her involvement, that of a white celebrity, to garner mainstream interest in the pipeline issue, both as a flashpoint around national treatment of Native Americans and as a potential environmental crisis. Woodley wrote:

Treaties are broken. Land is stolen. Dams are built. Reservations are flooded. People are displaced.

Treaties are broken. Land is stolen. Dams are built. Reservations are flooded. People are displaced.

Treaties are broken. Land is stolen. Dams are built. Reservations are flooded. People are displaced.

Treaties are broken. Land is stolen. Dams are built. Reservations are flooded. People are displaced.

As for the environmental crux, Woodley spoke to the urgency of the protests, explaining, “I know it is easy to be apathetic or detached from the reality that fossil fuel contamination could actually affect you and the ones you love … But hear me loud and clear: If you are a human who requires water to survive, then this issue directly involves you.” She also thanked fans for their support while urging them to turn that support toward the Dakota Access Pipeline fight at large. “What if we took the hashtag #FreeShailene and made it #ProtectCleanWater, or #HonorNativeTreaties, or #IStandWithStandingRock? … Simply feeding off the hype of a celebrity’s arrest ain’t going to save the world. But, standing together will,” she wrote. No court date has yet been set for Woodley’s case. Read her letter in full here.

Shailene Woodley Wrote About Her Protest Arrest