Jane Fonda, Sam Waterston Arrested on Capitol Hill Protesting for Green New Deal
It appears Jane Fonda is good for her word. The actress and political activist said she would hold demonstrations on Capitol Hill every Friday through January to demand action on the climate crisis. Sure enough, Fonda was arrested for demonstrating a second Friday in a row Oct. 18, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Only this time, her Grace and Frankie co-star Sam Waterston joined her.
"We can do this!" the 78-year-old Waterston said during the protest, according to CBS News. "We need something to push for that's as big as the problem."
Fire Drill Fridays, the name for the movement Fonda has started, said it was Waterston's first time being arrested.
Sam Waterston getting arrested for the first time for a #GreenNewDeal #firedrillfriday https://t.co/yRfvJagB9G— Fire Drill Fridays (@Fire Drill Fridays)1571416287.0
The 17 demonstrators were arrested for unlawfully demonstrating and charged with crowding and obstructing or incommoding, Capitol police spokeswoman Eva Malecki told CBS News.
Ahead of the protest, Fonda and Waterston appeared in a video explaining the Green New Deal, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Fonda has promised to lead in to every protest with a "digital teach-in" Thursday evening explaining a different aspect of the climate crisis and the fight to combat it.
In a Green New Deal, environmental devastation is considered especially heinous. On the planet, the dedicated activ… https://t.co/bQxqcPY3Df— Fire Drill Fridays (@Fire Drill Fridays)1571507924.0
For Fonda, Fire Drill Fridays marks a return to arrestable activism after a four decade break. She was last arrested in the 1970s, according to an Associated Press story published by NBC News.
Fonda told The Associated Press that getting arrested had changed in the last 40-some years.
"They use white plastic things on your wrists instead of metal handcuffs, and that hurts more," Fonda said.
She also acknowledged to The Associated Press that getting arrested at 81 made for new difficulties.
"The only problem for me is I'm old," Fonda said of her first climate-related arrest Oct. 11. "I had my handcuffs behind me, and I couldn't get into the paddy wagon because you have to step way up as you're leaning over and I had nothing to hang on to."
But her age is also part of the point. Fonda said she was inspired by young climate activist Greta Thunberg, and wanted to attract others like her who were trying to make environmentally conscious choices in their daily lives but did not know what else they could do.
"We're trying to encourage people to become more active across the age spectrum," Fonda said.
So far, the protest movement seems to be effective. It drew a much bigger crowd in its second Friday, and most of the 17 arrestees had white or gray hair, The Associated Press noted.
Fire Drill Fridays has five demands, according to the website:
- A Green New Deal
- Respect of Indigenous Land and Sovereignty
- Environmental Justice
- Protection and Restoration of Biodiversity
- Implementation of Sustainable Agriculture
Next week's teach-in and demonstration will focus on the impact of climate change on the oceans. Good Place star Ted Danson and Greenpeace USA Oceans Director John Hocevar will join Fonda for Thursday's discussion.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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