(EnviroNews World News) — Actress and activist Shailene Woodley took to the media waves via TIME Magazine‘s “Ideas” section in a personal piece titled, The Truth About My Arrest. The account comes in the wake of Woodley’s October 10 arrest over protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), whereafter the Hollywood actress and star of the Divergent Series, was first held in jail, then released and ordered to pay a $500 fine and return to court on October 24.
Woodley’s essay drives home the continuous plight of Native American tribes at the hands of the U.S. government, and calls for unified action against pipeline projects like DAPL and New York’s emerging AIM Pipeline (Algonquin Pipeline Expansion).
I was in North Dakota, standing side by side with Native Americans.
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.
We are still silencing their dedication to protect us from the planetary consequences that will catastrophically bleed from our ignorance.
We wear their heritage, their sacred totems, as decoration and in fashion trends, failing to honor their culture. Headdresses, feathers, arrows. Moccasins, sage, beadwork. You know what I’m talking about, Coachella. Walking around the flea market this weekend, I can’t even tell you how many native references I saw being used in a way that feeds our western narrative.
We buy plastic teepees from Toys-R-Us and set them up in our living rooms for children to play in.
We grow up romanticizing native culture, native art, native history… without knowing native reality.
Somehow, we’ve allowed 200-plus years to go by without questioning the western truth we have been told to believe about Native Americans.
Woodley was charged for criminal trespassing and hauled off in the paddy wagon, but she wasn’t the only one. Other respected media personalities and journalists, like video producer Deia Schlosberg and award-winning journalist and Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman were also charged, though Goodman’s charges have since been dropped. As many as 25 others are reported to have been arrested in the recent protests as well.
Josh Fox, filmmaker, documentarian and Director of the HBO films Gasland I and Gasland II, wrote in a piece in The Nation, ” [Woodley] was singled out, the police told her, because she was well-known and had 40,000 people watching live on her Facebook page.”
Woodley has already plead “not guilty” in the case and now awaits the October 24 hearing. You can read her essay in its entirety here.
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FILM AND ARTICLE CREDITS
- Emerson Urry - Journalist, Author