Documentary filmmaker arrested at Canada-U.S. pipeline protest

(Reuters) - A documentary maker who was filming as environmental protesters attempted to shut down the flow of oil through pipelines carrying crude from Canada to the United States was arrested and her footage confiscated, activists said on Wednesday.

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Deia Schlosberg, producer of the 2016 film “How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change”, was taken into custody on Tuesday as an “accessory” to the action despite serving only to document it, said Kyle Cadotte, managing director of the International WOW film company.

Cadotte said Schlosberg remained in custody in Pembina County, North Dakota on Wednesday and had not been allowed to speak to an attorney.

A spokeswoman for the Pembina County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Schlosberg was being held at the jail but declined to release any further information, referring calls from a Reuters reporter to State’s Attorney Ryan Bialas.

Bialas could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Protesters on Tuesday broke into valve stations at five remote locations to stop the flow of crude through arteries that pump around 15 percent of the oil consumed in the United States every day.

Companies operating the pipelines shut down their lines for between five and seven hours as a safety measure before restarting them, according to Reuters estimates and company representatives.

The action on Tuesday underscored the vulnerability of the thousands of miles of pipeline in the United States that deliver energy to consumers.

Together, the pipelines have the ability to carry nearly 2.8 million barrels a day of crude across the Canadian-U.S. border.

Schlosberg produced on “How to Let Go of the World” with Josh Fox, whose 2010 documentary on fracking, “Gasland” was nominated for an Academy Award.

“Whatever you think about the protests, you cannot believe that a person who is simply reporting - freedom of the press, the First Amendment - shooting the protests should be arrested and their footage confiscated. This is an outrage,” Fox said in a videotape posted on his Facebook page.

Fox called Schlosberg’s arrest, along with that of actress Shailene Woodley at a demonstration against the Dakota Access Pipeline near St. Anthony, North Dakota, an attack on the free press.

Woodley was taken into custody on Monday, along with 27 other protesters, on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and engaging in a riot, according to a spokesman for the Morton County Sheriff’s Office. She was later released on bond.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by James Dalgleish