Divergent actress Shailene Woodley is speaking out about being arrested for protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
In a piece published on TIME, Woodley explains her concerns with the Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as how the Native American community has been disrespected. She pleaded not guilty to rioting on Wednesday.
Plans for the Dakota Access Pipeline call for the system to move near and through sacred Native American space — which is why Woodley has been protesting the project.
Here’s part of her essay:
When we talk about marginalized communities in our country, we do not (on a mainstream level) include Native Americans.
When we talk about sex trafficking in our country, we do not (on a mainstream level) include Native Americans.
And when we talk about governmental integrity, we do not (on a mainstream level) include Native Americans.
Treaties are broken. Land is stolen. Dams are built. Reservations are flooded. People are displaced.
Yet we fail to notice. We fail to acknowledge. We fail to act.
So much so that it took me, a white non-native woman being arrested on Oct 10th in North Dakota, on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, to bring this cause to many people’s attention. And to the forefront of news publications around the world.
The day I was detained, 26 others had to dress in orange as well, as they were booked into the Morton County jail. Did you hear about them?
Twenty-six men and women who put their livelihoods on the line, to protect their children, your children and my future children.
Twenty-six men and women who realize that millions of people depend on the Missouri River for drinking water.
And, you guessed it, you may be one of them. Did that catch your attention?
When the Dakota Access Pipeline breaks (and we know that too many pipelines do), millions of people will have crude-oil-contaminated water. I know it is easy to be apathetic or detached from the reality that fossil fuel contamination could actually affect you and the ones you love… But hear me loud and clear: If you are a human who requires water to survive, then this issue directly involves you. Don’t let the automatic sink faucets in your homes fool you—that water comes from somewhere, and the second its source is contaminated, so is your bathtub, and your sink, and your drinking liquid. We must not take for granted the severity of this truth.
You can read Woodley’s full piece on TIME.