Shailene Woodley and Mark Ruffalo continued to speak out in support of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s opposition to the Dakota Access oil pipeline today as protests against the controversial project intensified.
North Dakota authorities dressed in riot gear began removing roadblocks set up by protesters to outline a camp that they claim is located on tribal land on Thursday, according to CNN.
Woodley, who was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing and engaging in a riot last week, called out to other celebrities this morning asking for support as protests escalate. Tagging Willow and Jaden Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nikki Reed and Ruffalo, Woodley wrote, “the fight of our lives happening now,” along with a link to the Facebook page of a native protestor.
Throughout the day, Woodley continued to update her Twitter with news from other protestors and journalists documenting the police efforts.
Meanwhile, Ruffalo went on CNN this afternoon to explain why he’s involved with protests. “Ultimately, a lot of the work I do has to do with protecting water and that’s what these people are doing there. And so I was invited by some of the folks I know there to deliver a solar system to power the camp for the winter time.”
He also described the conditions on the ground, saying that while he did not personally witness any police abuse, he has seen signs of the violence. “I didn’t witness and violence while I was there but I witnessed and heard the stories from the young people who had witnessed and felt the violence,” he said.
“I met a girl who had her arm broken a few days ago. Many of the protestors had encounters with the police where they were thrown in jail cells naked strip searched,” he added. Ruffalo also described speaking with police operating a roadblock yesterday: “We went to one of the road blocks just to say hello and got a sense of the feeling there, and the feeling that the police were sort of emanating and it was definitely – there were two police officers with AR-15’s, their fingers right next to the trigger with their dark sunglasses on, very, very aggressive.”
As for the protestors, Ruffalo said he was impressed by their maturity, despite their relative youth. “I spent the day in the camp, the forward camp, where people were in engaged in prayer. “Every single person you see there was trained in peaceful resistance, which means that no one is allowed out in that area unless they’ve had some sort of peaceful resistance training.”
He added, “The mantra of the place is it’s not the police, it’s the pipeline that we’re protesting or protecting ourselves against. And they spend basically the entire day doing prayers, chanting. I have never been around so peaceful a stand. It’s led by young people, you can see these photos, the people who began this movement were young people from 10 years old to 17, 18 years old. And the tribal leaders are still taking their lead from them.”
“Not only is it an environmental, but it’s a problem in terms of social justice,” Sarandon told the demonstrators, according to Reuters. “We can do it. We can stop fracking. We can stop the pipeline. But really it’s only because of great numbers of people.”