Former President Barack Obama’s oldest daughter, Malia, joined a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline on Monday.
The eighteen year old left her family during their Caribbean vacation in order to attend the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where the protest was being held. Fellow protester Shailene Woodley praised the former first daughter. “It was amazing to see Malia,” the actress told Democracy Now.
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“To witness a human being and a woman coming into her own outside of her family and outside of the attachments that this country has on her, but someone who’s willing to participate in democracy because she chooses to,” Woodley said. “Because she recognizes, regardless of her last name, that if she doesn’t participate in democracy, there will be no world for her future children.”
The Dakota Access Pipeline has been in headlines for months with massive protests nationwide aimed at stopping its construction. Shortly before President Trump’s inauguration, the Army Corps of Engineers halted movement on the project pending completion of an environmental study.
As one of his first executive orders, President Trump signed an order for the project to move forward, a position that has been the subject of even more controversy for Trump in a week filled with them. Trump also signed an action to expedite environmental review and approval of high-priority infrastructure projects that he hopes to get moving as part of his drive to rebuild U.S. airports, roads and bridges.