Shailene Woodley on the bank of the Canon Ball River with Bilfred Larkin - Alex Hamer
Alex Hamer
Shailene Woodley on the bank of the Cannoball River with Bilfred Larkin, Seneca. Taken in August before direct action on the Missouri River from Sacred Stone Camp.

Shailene Woodley Writes Passionate Defense of NoDAPL Water Protectors


Actress Shailene Woodley, arrested on October 10 for participating in a nonviolent action against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, has revealed to Democracy Now! that she was strip searched, as most of those arrested on misdemeanor trespassing charges have been. She did not mention this, however, in her statement about what she was arrested for protecting, published on October 20 at

“I was in North Dakota, standing side by side with Native Americans,” she wrote in an editorial, "The Truth About My Arrest." “You know, those who were here before us. Well, guess what, America? They’re still here. And they are still fighting the good fight. A fight that serves each and every one of us. They are still putting their lives on the line to protect the roots that feed our existence.

And, guess what else, dear America? They are still being ignored. We are still throwing them in jail.”

Woodley points out what Natives have been saying all along, that this is about everyone's water, not just Standing Rock's. “When the Dakota Access Pipeline breaks (and we know that too many pipelines do), millions of people will have crude-oil-contaminated water,” she wrote. “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.”

RELATED: VIDEO: Shailene Woodley Supports NoDAPL on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers

Shailene Woodley talks to Seth about how Hillary Clinton can utilize the protest against a North Dakota crude oil pipeline to mobilize millennials in support of her campaign.

She also notes that even though what they espouse is common sense and for the common good, America has not paid attention until a celebrity was hauled off.

If Morton County authorities and Energy Transfer Partners have been trying to silence and intimidate away the DAPL opposition, the strategy appears to have backfired. In arresting an eloquently spoken millennial movie star with a moral compass to match, they have brought more visibility to crucial issues.

Ham-handed tactics to suppress the water protectors have instead resulted in an opportunity for the water protectors’ messages of environmental justice, spirituality and climate change to be heard. In Woodley’s words, “And all these narratives about riots? Just watch my Facebook livestream and decide for yourself who looks more dangerous: police in riot gear with batons, or native grandmothers and children smudging sage and singing songs.”

Read Shailene Woodley: The Truth About My Arrest at

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