Charge dropped in actress’ White House protest

By Jessica Gresko
Washington (AP) June 2011

Prosecutors dismissed a charge against the actress who played Pocahontas in the film “The New World” and was arrested after chaining herself to the White House fence.

Q’orianka Kilcher and her mother, Saskia Kilcher, were arrested in June 2010 after the actress chained herself to the White House fence and her mother poured a black substance over her. The 21-year-old, whose father is a Peruvian Indian, was protesting against the sale of land in Peru to oil companies. Peru’s president, Alan Garcia, was meeting that day with President Barack Obama. Saskia Kilcher, who was charged with destroying property, said their goal was to disrupt his visit.

Prosecutors dropped the charges against the women at a court hearing after they completed community service for the Peace Center in Washington. Q’orianka Kilcher, who had been charged with unlawful entry, said before the hearing that she wants to use her celebrity to fight against “corporate greed.” She also said she is worried about the disappearance of indigenous tribes in Peru and elsewhere.

She said she was “excited” to have the charge against her dropped, though she will still have an arrest record.

“I haven’t been able to protest,” she said of the past year.

Kilcher and her mother said they planned to visit the White House again. The two had been banned from the area surrounding the residence after their arrest but planned to visit to celebrate the fact their charges had been dropped. Q’orianka Kilcher also said the visit was to mark the two-year anniversary of deadly clashes in Peru between police and Amazon Indians fighting efforts to exploit oil, gas and other resources on their native lands.

Kilcher is probably best known for her role as Pocahontas in the 2005 Terence Malick film “The New World.” Her current projects include a movie called “Road to Forgiveness,” a true story about the relationship between a family and the drunk driver who killed their daughter and mother.