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Jane Fonda steps up climate fight as part of ‘Fire Drill Friday’

Aaron Schwartz

Academy Award-winning actress Jane Fonda held her eighth consecutive “Fire Drill Friday” protest on Capitol Hill this week, where she was seen on livestream calling on Americans to reform the agricultural sector and change their eating habits to help stop climate change.

“We have to very seriously understand the impacts of cattle ranching on climate and cut back or completely eliminate eating meat. We don’t need it every day or at all,” Fonda said.

Fonda started “Fire Drill Fridays” in October and modeled it on Swedish teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s “Fridays for Future” campaign. The protest series is scheduled to run for 14 consecutive weeks.

Fonda said the agriculture sector should be transformed on the model laid out in the Green New Deal, a proposal introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

Fonda was joined at the protest by “The League” Actor Paul Scheer and 11-year-old “Young Sheldon” actor Iain Armitage. Armitage played Fonda’s grandson in the Netflix film “Our Souls at Night.” 

This is not the first time Fonda’s TV family has appeared with her at the protest. June Diane Raphael and Brooklyn Decker, who play Fonda’s daughters on “Grace and Frankie,” came to the Nov. 15 “Fire Drill Fridays” event.

Scheer is married to Raphael, who was arrested on Nov. 15 as part of “Fire Drill Fridays.”

Armitage climbed a small ladder during his speech so he could see over the podium. Armitage said he was proud to be from a family of vegetarians and said he is concerned about how climate change affects farm workers.

“Despite all of the ways our food systems can harm the climate, I’m also learning that if we change how we farm and reduce our use of pesticides we can make ourselves happier and healthier,” Armitage said.

The protest began with a rally on the Capitol lawn where protestors heard from Fonda and other activists. After the rally, the protestors walked to the rotunda steps of the Capitol and began demonstrating unlawfully. Eva Malecki, the communications director for the U.S. Capitol Police, said that 36 adults and one juvenile were arrested in connection with the protest.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
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