Belfast Telegraph

Shailene Woodley heading to trial in trespassing case

The actress faces jail time and fines if convicted.

Actress Shailene Woodley is heading to trial next year in her trespass and riot case.

The Divergent star was charged with one count of misdemeanour criminal trespass and one count of misdemeanour engaging in a riot following her arrest during a protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Sioux County, North Dakota on 10 October (16).

Woodley's attorney entered a not guilty plea on her behalf last week (ends21Oct16), and the actress will now return to a Mandan court on 25 January (16). If convicted she faces two months in jail and $3,000 (GBP2,450) in fines.

Shailene was one of 27 activists arrested at the Dakota Access Pipeline site. Their protest followed a federal judge's ruling on 9 October (16) that rejected the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's request to halt construction on the $3.8 billion pipeline, claiming it could taint water supplies and encroach on tribal burial sites.

Protests supporting the tribe have been ongoing for months. Shailene has been campaigning against the Dakota Access Pipeline for much of this year (16), and she previously joined Rosario Dawson at a demonstration in New York in August (16), when they held up signs and marched with others committed to halting the project.

She was one of around 100 demonstrators who staged the peaceful protest in Sioux County on the site of the pipeline, which will transport crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois.

Following her arrest, Shailene opened up about her reasoning for joining the protest, insisting she wants people to pay attention to the urgent need to protect natural resources.

"I was in North Dakota, standing in solidarity, side-by-side with a group of over 200 water protectors, people who are fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline," she wrote in a powerful TIME magazine essay published last week (ends21Oct16). "People who carry a rainbow of colors on their skin. People who gathered together because they realize that if we don't begin taking genuine steps to protect our precious resources - our soil, our water, our essential elements - we will not have a healthy or thriving planet to pass on to future generations."

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