Demand climate action with Jane Fonda



Below is a note from Judy Wicks, who invites all to join her for the demonstration and civil disobedience in Washington, DC, led by Jane Fonda this Friday, January 10.

Dear friends,

Inspired by youth activist Greta Thunberg, Jane Fonda has been protesting in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, every Friday since October to call for congressional action on the climate crisis.  January 10 is the last of her “Fire Drill Fridays” before Jane moves back to LA to continue filming her series with Lily Tomlin (who got arrested with Jane a couple Fridays ago.)

I participated in Fire Drill Friday in October and was arrested with Jane and 32 others.  The crowds have been growing to over 100 committing civil disobedience together, and many more to hear the speakers, witness and support the action.

I plan to return for a second arrest on January 10, along with some friends who are also committed to civil disobedience.  We are taking train #183 on Friday morning at 8:31am, arriving in DC at 10:30am, and walking from there to the Capitol Building for the program from 11am – noon, before a short march ending in civil disobedience.  The speakers at the program include Bill McKibben and Annie Leonard.   If you would like to travel together, let’s meet at 30th Street station at 8:20am on Friday. Try to wear something red – a jacket, hat, scarf. And bring a sign if possible.

If you care to go earlier on Friday morning, there is a meeting at 9:30am at the United Methodist Building, just across from the Capitol Building to discuss civil disobedience.  

If you care to arrive Thursday evening, there is a teach-in from 7-8pm where Jane, Annie and Bill will speak and discuss what’s next for Fire Drill Fridays.  (I’m assuming this is also at the church, but I’m not sure.)

I can share a few things from my experience at my first arrest in October, and from what I have been told about other events, though I cannot guarantee that the experience will be the same.

At the end of the march which is about 15 minutes long, an act of civil disobedience is led by Jane.  The time I went in October it was to block traffic in a street in front of the Capitol.  Other times, it has been to enter the Capitol and refuse to leave.  Not sure what it will be this time.

People have the opportunity to participate in civil disobedience or not. There are several opportunities to bow out if you choose.

After several warnings by the police to disperse, the police begin to arrest people, usually starting with Jane.  Depending on how many are being arrested, it takes awhile for this process, which includes putting plastic handcuffs on each person.  I suggest requesting that your hands be held in front of you as opposed to behind your back.  This appeared to be an option for anyone who asked, but again I don’t know how this may differ between events or officers. The police officers I encountered were very gentle, courteous, and accommodating to requests.  At no time did I feel fearful or distraught. 

When you are handcuffed, you will be asked to put any property into a plastic bag with your name on it.  It is best to travel as light as possible. I did not carry a purse, but rather put my ID, a credit card, and $70 in cash in my pocket. ($50 being for the fine.) I also carried a water bottle in a coat pocket, and I kept my phone.  (I was able to continue taking photos even after handcuffed until I had to put my phone in the plastic bag.)  Your possessions will be returned at the very end, just before release. If you prefer to carry a small purse, this is fine.  The plastic bag is large enough to hold a small size purse. 

We were transported in paddy wagons and buses. With large crowds, which this will likely be, buses are used.  We were driven to a detention center towards the outskirts of the city.  This could be in a number of places. The men were separated from the women, but in the same large room where we sat on folding chairs in rows.  We are held there until everyone is processed.  The time depends on how many people. We were permitted to use the bathroom, but again I don’t know how this may vary and some people may want to wear Depends, just in case. When I went, we were released around 5pm as I recall, and we took a Lyft to dinner at Busboys & Poets (14th and V), which I recommend as a progressive, activist hangout with good food, where we could all meet for dinner. However, I heard that in December (when there was a big crowd for Jane’s 82nd birthday arrest), the release was not until 10:30pm.  So don’t count on going out to dinner.  And best not to count on a particular train going home. 

We hope you will join us and show a strong Philadelphia presence in our united call to Congress to take action on the climate crisis.  “Our house is on fire!”  Let’s work together to save our home on Earth.



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