I was arrested at Fire Drill Friday

Laura Flanders
Last week I was arrested at Fire Drill Fridays, a weekly demonstration led by my long-time friend, the actor and activist Jane Fonda, demanding action from our political leaders to address the climate crisis. This is the third week in a row Jane was arrested, and she has vowed to continue leading these protests every Friday through January. 

Below is an excerpt of my interview with Jane Fonda just minutes before we were arrested.
The theme of last Friday's Fire Drill was "Oceans Can't Wait," and the list of speakers included academics, directors from the environmental organizations Greenpeace and GAIA, and even actor and decades-long ocean advocate Ted Danson. It was an impressive group, but what impressed me most was the intergenerational nature of the demonstration. As I looked around, I saw octogenarians, teenagers, and everyone in between. Four generations of protesters all standing together because they know that climate change isn't some vague future threat that can be worried about later; it's very real, and its effects are being felt today (and disproportionately by some of the world's most vulnerable communities). If we want a livable climate, we need to take action now. 

The problem—and the reason for Fire Drill Fridays—is that, while individual action is an important part of the fight against climate change, when a mere 100 corporations produce more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions, individual action alone is not enough. We need our elected representatives to step up in a big way if we want even a prayer of mitigating the damage our changing climate will wreak. That's why last Friday, I saw demonstrators from all walks of life come out to the Capitol and brave arrest in order to send a message. 

And sending a message to politicians is what brought me down to D.C. in the first place (because, no, I didn't go down just get arrested). I was there with my team to cover the Progressive Strategy Summit, which put movement leaders from the front lines of social and environmental justice into dialogue with progressive policy makers. It was all about, as Rep Pramila Jayapal put it, bringing the street heat into the halls of government.

While I was there, I had the chance to speak to the likes of Rep Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas, 18th district), Alicia Garza (Black Lives Matter cofounder), disability justice activist Mia Ives Rublee, and, of course, Rep Pramila Jayapal (Washington, 7th district). The conversations were incredible, and I encourage you to watch them for yourself. The episode airs next Tuesday on CUNY TV, Free Speech TV, and Link TV, and you can find it online at lauraflanders.org

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In solidarity,

Laura Flanders
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