Article Oct 19, 2016

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Shailene Woodley pleads not guilty to riot charge

Actress Shailene Woodley has pleaded not guilty to charges she sparked a riot at a pipeline protest earlier this month (Oct16).

The Divergent star was charged with one count of misdemeanor criminal trespass and one count of misdemeanor 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, who live streamed the protest and her arrest on Facebook and spent several hours in custody, was not in the North Dakota court on Wednesday morning (19Oct16), but her attorney entered the plea on her behalf, according to TMZ.

Her case is set to go to trial on Monday (24Oct16), unless the actress can figure out a plea deal with prosecutors.

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 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.