Jane Fonda was arrested for taking part in a climate protest outside of the US Capitol Building yesterday (October 11).
The actress, 81, was among 16 other people charged with unlawfully demonstrating on the East Front of the Capitol, a felony under a Washington law prohibiting protesters from obstructing public building entrances, as reported by The New York Times.
She was taken into custody soon after she had finished speaking as part of a Fire Drill Fridays protest, the first of a weekly series of planned climate change demonstrations.
Fonda said she wanted to show solidarity with young climate change strikers such as Greta Thunberg. She said she had been inspired by the Naomi Klein book On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal.
“We have to ensure that the climate crisis remains front and center,” the Monster-in-Law actress said. “I’ve been feeling that I wasn’t doing enough.”
She vowed to return to the Capitol every Friday for the rest of the year, saying that she was moving to Washington for the next four months out of a sense of urgency and moral outrage.
“The same toxic ideology that took this land from people who already lived here, that kidnapped people from Africa, turning them into slaves to work that stolen land, justified it by saying that those kidnapped and displaced people were not human beings, cut down the forests and exhausted the natural world just as it did the people — this foundational ideology is the same one that has brought us the human-driven climate change that we’re facing today,” she said.
— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) October 11, 2019
Fonda said the group of protestors were trying to persuade lawmakers to support the Green New Deal, the environmental initiative proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, US Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, that calls for a net-zero carbon United States economy by 2050.
Fonda added that the demonstrators also wanted to encourage Congress to end fossil fuel exploration and to “phase out” fossil fuel infrastructure.
The New York Times reports that actress faces a fine of up to $250 and up to 90 days in jail if convicted of unlawful demonstration.
Music industry collective Music Declares Emergency (MDE) has amassed thousands of signatories to its declaration of a climate and ecological emergency, since it was launched over the summer.