Jane Fonda arrested once again

Climate change rallies stir controversy

Written By Mya Burns, Copy Editor

Climate change is real. It exists, it’s happening, and the Earth is dying as I type this. Now that we’re all on the same page and those that like denying facts and science have stopped reading, let’s talk about Jane Fonda.

Fonda has recently been protesting and subsequently getting arrested in Washington D.C. every Friday for the past four weeks. She’s fighting to raise awareness about climate change and to encourage others to do their own part to join the fight alongside her. Fonda has reduced her own carbon footprint as much as she can, and along with encouraging others to do the same, she is also pushing for individuals to rally together and put the pressure on lawmakers to pass legislation to protect our planet. Because the Earth is dying.

Some are critical of her decision to get arrested every Friday in what she calls the “Fire Drill Fridays,” inspired by climate activist Greta Thunberg. But I really, truly don’t understand why. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the prison system. I believe that it unfairly targets people of color, poor people, and other marginalized groups. I think that it’s a huge privilege to be able to go out with the intention of being arrested, knowing that you most likely are not going to be the subject of police brutality in the process or be killed by police.

Let’s face it: Jane Fonda isn’t really risking much of anything by doing this. She’s a white, rich celebrity who has the funds to get out of this sticky situation if she needs to and the privilege to survive being arrested and put into jail. But I think that’s exactly why what she is doing is important.

Why wouldn’t we want Jane Fonda doing what she’s doing right now? She’s using her privilege to do something that catches the eyes of the general public, brings awareness to a cause, and disrupts the police and D.C. in general. Every Friday, Fonda gets arrested. And by Saturday, she can move on with her life and prepare for her next arrest. She’s only been actually kept in jail overnight once so far, and it was just one night and she still didn’t face any real long-term consequences for this. But more and more people are paying attention to her getting arrested, and that’s more and more people that could possibly be swayed by her actions to pay more attention to climate change. Why wouldn’t we want this?

There are people all over the world that are a lot less privileged than Fonda, fighting the good fight to try to save the Earth. People like Native Americans protecting their land or children who have barely known the world but know that it needs to be saved. Fonda is using her privilege of having wealth and white skin to do something that these people can’t. She is using her platform, her visibility in the public eye, to make a change. And honestly, that’s more than what most celebrities are doing.