Actress Jane Fonda and fifteen other individuals were arrested outside of the U.S. Capitol Building this afternoon. Fonda was at the Capitol Building for a climate change protest. The actress and fifteen others face up to 90 days in prison, a $500 fine, or both. The 81-year old activist recently requested a break from her Netflix series Grace and Frankie to move to Washington D.C. and get more involved with climate change activism. Since then, she has started hosting weekly meetings on the subject to raise awareness.
Capitol Police communications director Eva Malecki said, "Today, the United States Capitol Police arrested 16 individuals for unlawfully demonstrating on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol." She revealed that they all, including Jane Fonda, were charged with crowding, obstructing or incommoding. Fonda has a long history of activism, going all the way back to the Vietnam War and has lent her voice to many causes over the years.
On her website, Jane Fonda has pledged "to demand that action by our political leaders be taken to address the climate emergency we are in." Climate change is a huge issue in today's politics, but most of the Republican party choose to call it a hoax, even Donald Trump. Fonda had this to say on her website.
"I will be on the Capitol every Friday, rain or shine, inspired and emboldened by the incredible movement our youth have created. I can no longer stand by and let our elected officials ignore - and even worse - empower - the industries that are destroying our planet for profit."
It is unclear at this time how long Jane Fonda will be behind bars. She has more than likely already been bailed and waiting to be assigned a court date at a later time. As for making such a dramatic shift in her life, Fonda was inspired after reading about the work of climate activists like Greta Thunberg. Fonda explains.
"I mean, I knew about Greta, I didn't know she was on the spectrum. And I didn't really understand what Asperger's meant. And when Naomi described it, I realized that here is this young person who ... she's not influenced by what other people think... On the spectrum, if they are interested in something, they have a laser focus on that and whatever the denials and rationalizations the rest of us indulge in, that doesn't come into play with her. And she read the (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report and she realized that the crisis was barreling straight at us, like a train, and looked around and people weren't behaving appropriately. It so traumatized her that she stopped eating. I hadn't realized that she stopped eating and speaking for almost a year. And that really hit me."
To Jane Fonda and millions of other people around the world, climate change is very real and it's happening more rapidly than initially thought. Whatever the case may be, Fonda is lending her voice to support awareness and bringing attention to the issue no matter the cost. You can see video of the 81-year old actress getting arrested below, thanks to Mike Valerio's Twitter account.