Shailene Woodley, best known as the star of Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars, was arrested Monday protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. That protest was part of an ongoing series of actions meant to stop construction of the pipeline that would, among other things, disrupt sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Presidential candidate Jill Stein protested the pipeline last month and vandalized construction equipment on site, leading to a warrant being put out for her arrest.
In a press conference, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said that 27 people were arrested at the protest. Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney confirmed Woodley was one of the 27. Laney said at approximately 7:00 a.m. police were notified about three people on private property of the construction site. Laney said two of those three people strapped themselves to construction equipment and were later freed by officers. Police were then notified a caravan of over 100 vehicles were headed to the area said Laney, who called the protest a "riot."
"When you have that many people engaged in that kind of behavior, inciting others to break the law, cheering others on as they do break the law, refusing to leave when they're asked to leave," Laney said explaining why to him it wasn't a protest. Asked about Woodley, Laney said she was charged for engaging in a riot and criminal trespass. "[Woodley was] no different than the others," Laney said.
Woodley livestreamed from the protest on Facebook, including the moment of her arrest. An officer was reportedly heard telling Woodley, "We can't talk right here, but you're going to be placed under arrest for criminal trespassing." Woodley asked why she was being arrested and not anyone else, also asking if it was because she was famous. After being told by she was being arrested for trespassing, Woodley said she was being arrested "because I have 40,000 people watching." "We were going to our vehicle which they had all surrounded and waiting for me with giant guns and a giant truck behind them just so they could arrest me," Woodley told viewers in the video. "I hope you're watching, mainstream media."
A little part of the video that now we all own and even if it's taken down WE'LL STILL HAVE IT AND IT'LL STILL BE A REAL PROBLEM pic.twitter.com/zGQZWw1a5g
Woodley received support from stars like Rosario Dawson, who has starred in all of Netflix's Marvel shows, most recently Luke Cage. Dawson herself was arrested last April at a political protest.
The Divergent star also received support from her Divergent and Fault In Our Stars co-star Ansel Elgort, as well as Avengers star Mark Ruffalo.
SHAI WAS ARRESTED TODAY for protesting the North Dakota Pipeline. Read about what she was protesting here💔 https://t.co/wCuQaaYRmJ
Woodley has since been released. Her publicist told E! News: "She appreciates the outpouring of support, not only for her, but more importantly, for the continued fight against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline."