Jane Fonda is not joking around when it comes to her climate activism. Since October, Jane has been hosting Fire Drill Fridays.
Other stars and climate activists have joined her to protest at Capitol Hill. In the process, Jane has been arrested on a number of occasions.
This week marks the last of the Fire Drill Fridays in DC. This last protest wasn’t an unremarkable one. Jane and her team were set to protest “the major banks and investors that finance fossil fuel exploration,” demanding “immediate action for a Green New Deal: cut carbon emissions in half by 2030, replace with clean, renewable energy, and no new exploration/drilling for fossil fuels,” the Hollywood Reporter noted.
Jane was joined by Joaquin Phoenix, Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Amber Valletta, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
As for what’s next for Fire Drill Fridays, Jane’s team has teased a big announcement. In the meantime, Jane will head back to Los Angeles, where she’s working on a book about climate change and their experience protesting.
Joaquin Phoenix is serious about his commitment to climate change. Last weekend, Joaquin discussed climate change in his Golden Globes best actor win. “It’s really nice that so many people have sent their well-wishes to Australia, but we have to do more than that,” he urged.
“Hopefully, we can be unified and actually make some changes,” he continued. “It’s great to vote, but sometimes we have to take that responsibility on ourselves and make changes and sacrifices in our own lives. We don’t have to take private jets to Palm Springs for the awards.”
Joaquin elaborated on those thoughts at the rally that preceded the protest on Capitol Hill Friday. Jane was happy to see the actor, and she explained to the crowd that he “came of his own volition.”
“Something that oftentimes isn’t talked about in the environmental movement or in the conversation about climate change is that the meat and dairy industry is the third-leading cause of climate change,” Joaquin said.
“I think sometimes we wonder, ‘What can we do in this fight against climate change?’ And there is something you can do today, right now, and tomorrow by making a choice about what you consume,” Joaquin continued. “I struggle so much with what I can do at times.”
“There are things I can’t avoid,” Joaquin explained to the crowd full of activists. “I flew a plane out here last night, but one thing I can do is change my eating habits. So I just want to urge all of you to join me in that.”
Jane has used her celebrity to bring attention to climate change through the Fire Drill Friday demonstrations. The first one was in October. In the months since, Jane has been arrested on several occasions.
A number of other celebrities who have joined Jane have also been arrested. Previous protests saw Sally Field, Ted Danson, Sam Waterston, and Rosanna Arquette detained by DC police. This Friday, Martin Sheen was among those detained.
This week’s demonstration is the last Fire Drill Friday. Jane discussed what’s next in a blog post on her website.
“I’m writing a book about the Fire Drill Fridays and I’m very excited,” she wrote. “Pouring over the transcripts of everyone’s speeches, I’ve really been able to internalize so many things I didn’t get when I first heard them. I’m learning so much. I think people will be interested in this book and moved to take action.”
There are big things on the horizon, but first, Jane will be returning to Los Angeles for a while. “It will be a bittersweet thing to return home. But I ache to see my 6-month-old grandson and my dog, Tulea,” she noted. “I have made so many good friends these last 4 months and learned so much on many different levels. And I’m energized to a level I haven’t felt maybe ever.”
She shared her goals for the new year. “To grow the Fire Drill Friday’s movement with Greenpeace’s exquisite help and, in collaboration with the young climate strikers, so that by next fall there is a growing army of people willing to go into the streets and halls of Congress and state legislatures and make their voices heard for the sake of the planet and of the millions of people who are already being devastated by extreme weather events and pollution,” she said. “This is our year to take back Democracy.”
“A large majority of Americans want to see their elected officials confront the climate crisis in a bold, urgent way but their desires are being blocked by the stranglehold that corporations have on the political process, especially the fossil fuel industry and the Pentagon,” she continued. “We outnumber them and we must win. The future depends on it. We have ten years. Let’s do this!”
In the last few months, the difference Jane’s involvement has made was visible. The protest grew from a group of about 16 activists to over 300. Even President Donald Trump couldn’t help but comment on Jane’s protests.
At a rally in November, he spoke about the weekly demonstrations. “They arrested Jane Fonda, nothing changes,” he told the crowd. “I remember 30, 40 years ago they arrested her. She always has the handcuffs on, oh man. She’s waving to everybody with the handcuffs.”
Jane remains committed to keeping conversations on the protest focused on climate change. She’s spoken out in a number of outlets, giving credit for the invigoration to teen activist Greta Thunberg. We’re excited to see what Jane’s future contributions on the issue look like.