In October 2016, Shailene Woodley was arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct during a protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The incident brought new visibility to the controversial construction project, where an oil pipeline was slated to be built near Standing Rock Sioux land. The venture was a threat to the water supply because it goes under Lake Oahe, where the Standing Rock tribe gets its water. While the U.S. Army Corps of engineers temporarily halted the project in December, Donald Trump has given an executive order to move forward with the construction. And while it's now reported that Woodley won't go to jail for the protest arrest, she's made it clear the fight to end the construction of the DAPL is far from over.
As MTV reports, Woodley originally pled not guilty of both charges of trespassing and participating in a riot, and faced a 60-day jail sentence and a sizable fine if found guilty. However, People reports that the actor struck a plea deal, and took one year of unsupervised probation in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of disorderly conduct. Woodley was arrested with 27 other people, despite there being over 100 protesters on the sit at the time.
While Woodley's court case has wrapped up, the uncertain future of the Sioux Tribal land means she will continue to speak out. After her arrest, she penned an op-ed for Time urging people to view the incident as more than a celebrity arrest and to stand in solidarity with the Sioux tribe. On a recent appearance on The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert, Woodley talked candidly of her viral mug shot and the future of the #noDAPL protest.
The interview had many funny moments, but it also gave Woodley an opportunity to discuss the future of the DAPL protest in the face of the Trump administration. "The front lines don’t necessarily have to be in North Dakota," Woodley told Colbert. "The front lines can be wherever you are. You can create a protest in New York City, because protests are about awareness and about people coming together. I think one of the biggest ways that we’re going to defeat this pipeline more so than even protesting on the front lines is to divest from these big banks that are invested in the pipeline." Woodley encouraged viewers to head to HowtoDivest.org to learn more.
It's unclear whether or not the star's probation will affect her filming schedule or her other activities, but it's great to see that she was cleared of most charges and able to avoid a jail sentence. Thankfully, the arrest has not tempered Woodley's commitment to activism, and something tells me this may not be the last time the star participates in a major protest.