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How Jane Fonda, in Her 80s, Has Turned to Climate Activism

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Actress Jane Fonda is arrested during the "Fire Drill Friday" Climate Change Protest on Oct. 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. John Lamparski / Getty Images

When you see an actor in handcuffs, they're usually filming a movie. But when Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, Sally Field, and other celebrities were arrested in Washington, D.C., last fall, the only cameras rolling were from the news media.


"When you're famous, there's a real responsibility to use that celebrity in the best possible way you can," Jane Fonda says.

She began leading weekly demonstrations called Fire Drill Fridays at the U.S. Capitol last October. The goal was to raise awareness about the climate crisis and demand that the country transition away from fossil fuels.

Over the fall, Fonda and other protesters were arrested multiple times for civil disobedience. She even spent a night behind bars.

Fonda says before she started Fire Drill Fridays, she felt depressed and helpless about global warming.

"I wasn't doing enough and I didn't know what to do," she says.

But inspired by Greta Thunberg and other young activists, Fonda decided it was time to join the climate movement.

She says now, instead of just sitting around feeling scared about the future, she feels empowered and even hopeful.

"We have the future in our hands," she says. "What an awesome responsibility and what a beautiful opportunity."

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

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