October 11, 2019 may turn out to be a key date in the fight against Climate Change. Two things happened.
Jane Fonda was arrested Friday in front of the U.S. Capitol as part of her efforts to join the fight against climate change. It went just as she’d planned.
Mike Valerio, a reporter with the Washington, D.C., TV outlet WUSA, posted a video on Twitter of the 81-year-old, clad all in red, handcuffed and being escorted off the steps of the Capitol by authorities. A small group of protesters stood by, applauding.
Fonda, the Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning actress, activist and former model, recently moved from her Los Angeles home to D.C. for four months to join the climate change movement. She was inspired by teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and Randall Robinson, the lawyer who protested outside the South African embassy in the 1980s to stop apartheid.
Fonda’s arrest was part of her plan to execute a series of teach-ins and weekly rallies outside the Capitol to urge the government to enact changes to address climate change.
These protests, which Fonda called “Fire Drill Friday,” will happen at 11 a.m. on Fridays in front of the Capitol.
Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, thousands of miles to the east, US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warned that tackling the climate crisis will involve making dramatic economic changes. Hers was a passionate closing speech at the C40 World Mayors summit.
In her first overseas appearance as an elected politician, the 29-year-old was invited to speak after the C40, which represents the mayors of 94 cities worldwide, and which this week pledged support for a global version of her flagship Green New Deal policy.
“It is unsustainable to continue to believe [in] our system of runaway, unaccountable, lawbreaking pursuit of profit,” she told the conference.
“Instead,” she said, “the world needed to adopt “a cooperative, collaborative” system, “whose economy … benefits the middle and lower classes and marginalized people”.
“Our current logic created this mess and operating in the same way will not get us out.”
We shouldn’t forget that Fridays have already been the subject of the world-wide Climate Change Rebellion, resulting in the Global Climate Strike on September 20, 2019. Greta Thunberg and hundreds of young people across the globe have protested at #Fridays for the Future since March 2019. That may have been the reason why Jane Fonda decided to have her protests on Fridays as well.
If Jane Fonda is going to be in front of the Capitol every Friday for the next four months, then this poses the possibility of an organized larger rally, including Fonda’s group, #Fridays for the Future, Occasio-Cortez, and (just maybe) a pack of other celebrities (like, e.g., Leonardo DiCaprio, who is very much into environmental matters, including the Climate Change fight). I’d like to see Bernie Sanders there, too.
I don’t know if anyone who reads this has any connections with Fonda, Occasio-Cortez, DiCaprio or Bernie Sanders, but if you do, you might want work at making this all come together. I’m sure that if Bernie and Leonardo spoke with Jane Fonda, it would happen. If the kids at #Fridays for the Future decided to call on Jane Fonda, I’ll bet she would invite them to her #FridayFireDrill. We’re at the tipping point, now, where things happen fast because we’re all headed in the same direction.
I’d like to see the Washington police try to arrest Jane Fonda, Alexander Occasio-Cortez, Leonardo DiCaprio, fifty marchers from #Fridays for the Future, and a pack of celebrities. And I’d like to see Trump try to ignore what’s going on.