“The Huffington Post” reported actress Shailene Woodley was arrested and released last week for her live broadcast of her participation in protests against the Dakota Access pipeline. Woodley's public political actions are a part of a growing and welcome trend of the reawakening of the political consciousness of high profile Hollywood actors. Woodley's portrayal of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's girlfriend in Oliver Stone's film “Snowden”, and her description of Edward Snowden as a hero, was a signal that she stands with the people.

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Woodley broadcast her participation in the Dakota Access protest via Facebook live. She was told by police she was being arrested for alleged “criminal trespassing.” Woodley and several others were also accused of “rioting.” Woodley asserted via “TMZ” that it was about 100 protestors engaging in a peaceful protest. Woodley previously expressed her support for the water protectors at Standing Rock, along with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, on the the Late Show with Seth Meyers.

ndapl hashtag on screencap via CCO Public Domain via twitter ...- twitter.com
ndapl hashtag on screencap via CCO Public Domain via twitter ...- twitter.com

“E! Online's” report of Woodley's arrest quotes Woodley's Facebook live video where Woodley asserts she was deliberately singled out because she is well known and had 40 thousand viewers watching. She's right. Settler colonial society cannot abide a race traitor.

Race traitors

Those with only a surface level understanding of this issue will ignore a deeper analysis at their peril. The foundational ideology of all settler colonial societies is the racist presumption of the superiority of the colonizer over the colonized in every respect; politically, culturally, psychologically, spiritually, etc.

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While the general population may not necessarily feel this way, make no mistake, the agents of the US state bent on maintaining US domestic and global hegemony take it as gospel. This is clearly shown by an examination of US military language when describing its declared enemies or perceived sympathizers with enemies. In chapter five titled “Indian Country” of the Book “Strong Hearts Wounded Souls: Native American Veterans of the Vietnam War” indigenous Vietnam veteran Tom Holm describes US wars of foreign intervention as still based on the racist settler colonial ideology of the US Indian wars.

Enemy held territory is called “Indian Country”, enemy combatants who have left a contained area are said to have “gone off the reservation”, and any American soldier that would dare sympathize with the enemy has “gone native.” US foreign wars of intervention do not just happen overseas, they happen all the time right here in the continental US against its first enemy, we the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.

The Indian Wars never ended

It has been a common refrain among indigenous activists that “the Indian Wars never ended”, and for a time was an advertising slogan for the national nonprofit legal organization the Native American Rights Fund.

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But as US military ideology clearly shows, this is not just a popular protest slogan, it is the continuing ideological position of the US towards the continually free and independent indigenous peoples and nations within its claimed territorial boundaries. And it is not just in the military conquest of “other Indians” overseas, it can be seen in the militarization of the domestic police force and the disproportionately massive and violent use of the state's police power against indigenous peoples.

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And for what? For the same reason the settler colonial process began, the desire for the exploitation of natural resources in indigenous held territories for the exclusive financial benefit of the elites of settler colonial society. If this is how the state treats an Indian, how does the US corporate state treat a “gone native” race traitor like Shailene Woodley? Make an example of her, lest anyone else follow her lead. To betray the state is not to betray the people. It is to honor the Earth. Nyaweh (Thank you) Shailene Woodley. Nyaweh (thank you) water protectors. We stand with Standing Rock.

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