By COURTNEY CHENNAULT
Over the weekend, Shailene Woodley made headlines for being arrested at a peaceful protest in North Dakota.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the “Secret Life of the American Teenager” star was demonstrating her disapproval of the proposed 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline that would transport 400,000 barrels of oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois alongside hundreds of other activists.
Naturally, environmentalists oppose the pipeline for multiple reasons, including the very real possibility of oil leaks that contaminate soil and underground water sources.
Additionally, the Los Angeles Times states that many Native American groups have been outspoken about the pipeline and were present at the protest because the pipeline will disturb sacred Native American lands.
The protest took place on Monday of this week, which also happened to be Columbus Day, which many are trying to re-dedicate as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Personally, I did not know about the protest until I saw “Shailene Woodley” trending on Facebook. I clicked on her name and learned what had happened.
It is interesting that the story trended because it involved a celebrity arrest rather than because the pipeline is a big deal in and of itself that affects all of us. I fear that if Woodley had not been involved, there would have been little news media attention given to the protest.
As an environmental activist myself, I am grateful to Woodley for being outspoken about this issue and for drawing attention to the demonstration.