Jane Fonda


There's certain things that all they grow in the presence of Higher Flyer Cleans out the deadwood the unnecessary. I'm just suddenly I'm thinking of John Lewis. Good troubled. Fire. There's a good fire people are feeling very. Awoke, and ready and motivated to do something. I have never in my eighty two years seen or felt anything like this. Jane Fonda has in her own estimation lived an extraordinary life. She was born in New York City in one thousand, nine, thirty, seven start in any fifty films since making her debut in nine, hundred sixty. From the science fiction cult classic. Barbarella to the committee nine to five funders roles of span the gamut of film acting earning her rafts of awards in the process including two Academy Awards for Best Actress. She is however is well known for her activism. She is for performances in film and on television. From opposing the Vietnam War to hosting fundraisers in Hollywood for Black Panther Civil Rights movement from delivering part of her acceptance speech at the nineteen seventy-nine American sign language to highlight the experience of people who are deaf to launch her famous series of home workout videos in the early nineteen eighty s in order to finance the campaign for economic democracy the body she cofounded did to and economic injustice in the US the ways in which he has campaigned diverse. I'm just various as the causes she's become a champion for. And Lost October, she began what she describes as the final chapter of her activism, which began just before her eighty second birthday. Fire Drill Fridays began as a series of climate rallies and protests in Washington DC in which she and some of fellow demonstrators arrested week after week. A consequential presidential election Jane Fonda says that her work in activism is far from done. I spoke to Jane Fonda from her home in Los Angeles for the big. Interview. Janai wants to begin in May after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis the protests demonstrations that. And filled in. So many U. S. cities following that incident. What did you? What was your reaction to them having been at the heart and at the helm of so many protests movements covering such a huge array of issues. Is such span of your life? How did you feel when when people took to the streets following George Freud staff demonstrations, the protests, the uprisings after the protests were thrilling to me. Thrilling, in their breadth and depth and diversity I, mean there's a small town just south of where I'm living. It's all white middle class and they were out carrying black lives matter signs. There's been about this moment that got people out into the streets, not just that they'd been shut off for so long but the pandemic has pulled the band aid off. The, profound systemic injustice and inequality in this country. I don't think people really realized many people. Didn't realize. How Close to the edge, most Americans lives dust, literally paycheck to paycheck and how these are the people that we rely on to keep life going the deliverymen, the postal service of nurses the. The Home Care Workers Etcetera and. There's been a new appreciation I think of the need to address inequality and the need to create good jobs where people in the United States the fact that so many people live in constant anxiety that they won't be able to feed their family. It's inexcusable in country and things have gotten worse as Neo Liberalism has. been at work here in the United. States. So there's that and then. You know when we started for Admiral Fridays in DC we didn't know whether there was going to be traction. I kind of the young people have the sunrise movement in the Fridays for future and extinction rebellion and zero hour, and we need something for all folks. You know it took about three or four took almost a month before we realized holy cow, we tapped into something really important started coming from all over the country they wanted to be told what they can do. They wanted to be told you're something you can do. It's not so difficult. And then to take that next step and put their bodies on the line engage in civil disobedience and risk arrest and it had. Profound. Trench formative effects on people and it seems that had a transformative effect on you to not fair to say, yeah you know in this day and age in your country like in line it's not so easy to have the experience or find a way to put your whole self in alignment with your deepest values, which is what civil disobedience does. It's like stepping into yourself it's very empowering. Now obviously helps to be white and famous. You know the police were told to behave well, five been black would have been quite different, but it was. For historic reasons, most of the people who got arrested were white. There was maybe two handful of many that were ten African. American. People in the course of four months and I understand why? Our. Goal was to reach people who understand that there's a climate crisis understand that it's human created. And just wondering to what to do, and that's what happened and most of them what we asked often we did have any of you ever done this before most hands went up they'd never this is something they've never done. That was really rewarding. You have chronicle all Jane in your new book what can I do my path from climate dispatch to action I thought Jane. At the very beginning of the book you describe the moment when a police officer during the first fire drill Friday's gathering Finally, put your hands behind your back and ties together with some white plastic handcuffs. Could you recall that moment for us and the sensation you had about how the the motivation used had for filed journal Fridays was now translating in a very physical way. Well I have been handcuffed before and put in jail before, but they were metal. And I was younger. Now I'm almost eighty three and they were white and they were painful and they put my arms behind my back and I have shoulder issues. So you know it was hard but I knew why I was there. I knew what I wanted to accomplish I knew there would be a lot of press coverage and my goal was to you know people, we're GonNa Save One god, she's eighty two, and if she can do that, I can do that kind of thing. And And I just I felt so empowered. You know not so empowered when we got to the police wagon and I couldn't get into it because there was nothing to hold onto my hands were behind my back. And was high up and so the officer had to take my fanny and push me into the police question. Was a little unceremonious. On this moment, like the one that you're drawing attention to through fire drill Fridays Jane, the idea of of losing and putting all ceremony to one side is perhaps the least you can do is it fair to summarize it in that way? I wanted to turn eighty three. No, I honored to turn eighty two in jail and I missed it by day wouldn't put me in jail again they did it once and they arrested me four more times and then I got arrested again and I was told if I did I'd be put in jail but they didn't do it because I knew that it we get a lot of attention and the reason the attention is important as I don't need attention for me personally but that it makes people realize the urgency of climate crisis. So little time ten years to cut our fossil fuel emissions in house just an awesome unprecedented

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