By October 24, 2016 Read More →

Shailene Woodley set for January trial in Dakota Access pipeline protest

Shailene Woodley

Actress Shailene Woodley faces up to two month in jail and a $3,000 fine if convicted of misdemeanor charges of trespassing and engaging in a riot. Photo courtesy Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

Shailene Woodley facing misdemeanor charges

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Actress Shailene Woodley will stand trial in January on charges stemming from her arrest with more than two dozen other activists while protesting construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, court documents showed on Monday.

Woodley, 24, who has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of trespassing and engaging in a riot, faces up to two months in jail and a $3,000 fine if convicted.

The actress, who had been livestreaming the Oct. 10 protest at a Dakota Access pipeline construction site 2 miles (3.2 km) south of St. Anthony, North Dakota, was seen on camera being taken into custody and narrated her own arrest.

In an interview with the website Democracy Now! on Sunday, she said she was strip-searched at the Morton County jail.

“I have to say, I was the first person who got released that day on bail. My mom happened to be there. And I think it freaked her out a lot. But there were a lot of women who I got to know in that chamber who had to stay overnight and spent a lot more time in jail than I did,” she said.

Woodley, also known for her environmental activism, had previously joined members of North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to demonstrate against the $3.7 billion project.

The 1,100-mile (1,770-km) pipeline, being built by a group of companies led by Energy Transfer Partners LP, would be the first to bring Bakken shale from North Dakota directly to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The tribe believes the pipeline would leave its land vulnerable to contamination and damage historic and culturally significant sites. Supporters say it would provide a safer and more cost-effective way to transport Bakken shale to the U.S. Gulf.

Woodley co-starred in the film “Snowden” as the girlfriend of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked details about the U.S. government’s massive surveillance programs and was granted asylum in Russia after fleeing the United States in 2013.

In a related protest on Oct. 11, activists were arrested as they tried to shut down the flow of oil through pipelines carrying crude from Canada to the United States.

Among those taken into custody were documentary filmmakers, Lindsey Grayzel, Carl Davis and Deia Schlosberg, who were filming the action. The Committee to Protect Journalists has called for charges to be dropped against them, saying they were protected by free speech rights.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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