Yesterday, Divergent and The Spectacular Now star Shailene Woodley was arrested for protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline. In a statement recorded on Facebook Live she said:
"I'm being arrested. I was down there with everybody else. I don't know what's going on? As soon as they came I left… it's because I'm well known. It's because I have 40,000 people watching."
It's hard on her for taking part in a peaceful protest, but she is not alone. In fact, actors get arrested for protesting all the time. Usually, in these cases, their high profile attached to such demonstrations can help raise awareness for the cause. In honor of Woodley's valiant efforts, here are seven more celebrities the cops simply had to stop:
1. Susan Sarandon
When the unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo was shot dead by police in 1999, Susan Sarandon joined the throngs of people protesting outside the New York Police Headquarters. She was one of among 219 people arrested for civil disobedience. Speaking to People Magazine, The Thelma and Louise star said:
"If we’re not here today, then we’re saying that what happened is acceptable and normal, and I think that does a disservice to the other police. I think it’s time we focus on this issue, and racial profiling is not acceptable. I don’t think we want to be made safe at the expense of our civil liberties.”
2. Danny Glover
Proving he's not too old to protest, the Lethal Weapon star joined a labor union protest in Maryland. According to the Service Employees International Union, they were protesting Sodexo's unethical practices and unfair treatment of workers. When Glover and others crossed a yellow police tape and refused to step back, they were arrested.
When approached by the media, he refused to comment. Facing either a $1,000 fine or 90 days in jail, he naturally choose to pay the fine.
3. George Clooney
Clooney has always been known as a political guy, as exemplified in his films, his comments at press conferences, and his wife, who is a well-renowned and respected human rights lawyer. And so, not content to let such intolerable cruelty go out of sight, George Clooney joined a protest outside of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington to campaign against their government.
"we need humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world."
So committed was Clooney to his cause, he was arrested. He paid $100 for crossing a police line instead of having to go to court. I'm sure he didn't mind the expense.
The Jackass star knows how to pull a prank or two, taking things to the next level in order to protest against the unethical handling of animals at SeaWorld. He was charged with five demeanours for climbing up a crane in LA, setting off fireworks and holding up a large inflatable whale doll emblazoned with the words "SeaWorld sucks". Remarkably, despite being convicted and sentenced to thirty days in jail, he got out after a mere eight hours:
5. Woody Harrelson
As his name suggests, Woody Harrelson really likes trees. The White Men Can't Jump actor proved that they can at least climb by scaling the Golden Gate Bridge in 1996 in order to save a 60,000-acre ancient redwood grove in Northern California.
A self-professed tree hugger, he said of his cause:
"When a tree gets to be a thousand years old, when a tree gets to be two thousand years old, like these ancient redwoods are . . . wouldn't you stop and think that maybe they're more sacred than money?"
Well said Woody!
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6. Cynthia Nixon
The Sex In The City star was arrested outside City Hall in Lower Manhattan in 2002 for campaigning for better funding for public schools. They covered the entrance to the other building and sang "We Shall Not Be Moved" to protest against Bloomberg's proposal to take $350 million out of the Board of Educations Budget. She did not resist arrest when she and eleven other people were taken to the First Precinct House to receive their summons.
As her daughter pointed out to her, getting arrested can sometimes be a noble thing:
"My daughter herself brought up Martin Luther King. And so she says she understands that sometimes you have to go to jail to make things better.”
7. Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen takes the award as the most decorated actor-protestor, having been arrested a total of sixty-six times. The Badlands star's first arrest was in 1986 for taking umbrage with Ronald Reagan's highly controversial "Star Wars" initiative. Regarding the event:
"It was a terrifying experience, and also one of the happiest days of my life, because it turned out we had done everything we possibly could to object to this idea."
He says that protesting is part of his Roman Catholic faith, and without it, he wouldn't be the same person: