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MONKE: Actress arrest should signal end of DAPL protests

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Actress Shailene Woodley is a spoiled brat.

She's also a prime example of the worst kind of Dakota Access Pipeline protester.

Woodley is not a North Dakotan. She's not a Native American. She a 24-year-old Hollywood actress who grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs.

She may "stand with Standing Rock" but she sure doesn't understand the law.

She stood illegally on private property for two hours—we call that trespassing in these parts young lady—and she filmed the whole thing. She actually filmed herself committing criminal acts under the guise of protesting peacefully. You really can't make this stuff up.

She even thought it smart to try and point out that law enforcement agents there were (GASP!) carrying firearms—as if that should be some shocking development.

I'm glad there's a photo of her in an orange Morton County jail jumpsuit. I'm glad she was arrested. I'm glad she has become the face of the protesters.

I'm glad that she complained and screamed for the "mainstream media" to pay attention and they did for about 10 seconds, and then realized that law enforcement was justified in arresting Woodley and 26 others on Monday along the pipeline's route in rural Morton County near St. Anthony just north of the Standing Rock Reservation.

Her actions, while not entirely absurd, were still unlawful. And that's what the folks who are behind this protest need to realize.

This Dakota Access Pipeline protest has run it's course. It's time for it to end. It's time to go home.

The courts have either ruled or have delayed their ruling long enough to keep the pipeline from starting this winter. But, guess what? It's going to happen. It may not happen tomorrow or in the next few months, but that pipeline is going in the ground. It'll eventually go under Lake Oahe and it'll be shipping Bakken crude oil to Illinois at this time next year.

The state of North Dakota has been extremely accommodating to the pipeline protesters at the Sacred Stone Camp. Some media outlets have given them amazingly positive press.

But it's time for the protest—what at this point has basically become a squatter's camp—to reflect on what they have accomplished and stop. Stop trespassing and stop committing crimes.

Let our law enforcement, our farmers and our laborers get back to work.

And Shailene Woodley: Go back to Hollywood. But don't forget to make your court date in a couple weeks. Oh, and you better start running here now if you don't plan to use those nasty fossil fuels you seem to dislike so much.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

(701) 456-1205
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