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Why We Need to Talk About Shailene Woodley

Shailene Woodley got her start on Freeform’s Secret Life of the American Teenager, and continued to steal our hearts in the Spectacular Now, The Fault in Our Stars, and the Divergent franchise.  But now, more than ever, does Shailene have my attention. 

This past week, Woodley was charged with criminal trespassing.  She and many other protestors trespassed onto the construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline Project (North Dakota.)  The project has stirred up controversy, as it will likely disturb Native American tribes in this area.  In addition to promoting her new movie Snowden, Woodley spent her summer 2016 out at Standing Rock (of the Sioux tribe, the Native American tribe that will be mostly disturbed by this project) and attending rallies against the pipeline project in cities across the country.  To preserve that sacred land, Woodley rallied with other protestors, and live streamed the whole thing.

As she was being put under arrest, she said “Why am I being arrested and no one else is? I’m being arrested because I was trespassing with everyone else. As soon as you guys asked me to leave I left, I was down there with everyone else. I don’t know what is going on. It’s because I am well known. It’s because I have 40,000 people watching. We were going to our vehicle and they were waiting for me with big guns and a big truck.”  Woodley spoke to the camera as she was being escorted away with by the officers.  (Sidenote: other activists were arrested.)


Its been weeks now that the Native Americans have been protesting the project (said to disturb 1,168 miles of land in the Midwest.) In addition, the pipeline that will be carrying crude oil will dumb the oil into the Missouri River, possibly causing irreversible harm to the drinking water in the area as well as the River’s ecosystem.   

Celebrities such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Green, Mark Ruffalo, JK Rowling have publically supported Woodley and her courageous efforts, and from his Oscar speech, it’s only a matter of time before Leo DiCaprio extends his support as well.


Woodley has made it clear on social media that she will continue to speak out against the Pipeline Project.  As of now, Woodley could be facing up to two months in jail and a $3000 fine, as well as the 26 other protestors that were arrested along with Woodley.  Her court date is set for October 24.   

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