Fire Drill Fridays, the large series of climate change rallies led by Actress and Activist Jane Fonda, came to California for the first time on Friday with a rally held outside of Los Angeles City Hall.
Fire Drill Fridays in LA
The series of rallies, originally begun in Washington, D.C. last year, have quickly become one of the largest climate change awareness groups in the world and have been backed by large environmental groups such as Greenpeace. They have also become known for getting out of hand at times, resulting in the arrests of many actors and actresses including Fonda, Ted Danson, and Sally Field.
During Friday’s Rally in Los Angeles, which began with chants of “Hey hey, ho ho. Fossil fuels have to go.” Fonda led again, but this time with a message tailored to California lawmakers.
“I knew it was great bringing Fire Drill Fridays to California,” said Fonda in front of the crowd of thousands. “We held these 14 weeks together. We banded together and we got arrested together.”
“We have to act like the house is on fire. Millions of young people and students have stood up. Now older people are joining them.”
“The ones who haven’t are elected officials. Remember, there are more of us than them.”
The Governor’s office is called out
Fonda specifically called out Governor Gavin Newsom, simultaneously praising and shaming him for his actions regarding fossil fuels and climate change.
“Climate scientists are unanimous that we have to act now.We have to reduce fossil fuel emissions by half in ten years then gradually reduce to zero by mid-century,” continued Fonda.
“Thousands of permits are on the Governor’s desk for new wells for approval. No more new wells! California’s children are more important than fossil fuel profits.”
“Despite all the good things Jerry Brown did, he never stood up to big oil. It’s not going to fly anymore. We think Governor Newsom has the guts.”
Other Hollywood notables, including actors Rainn Wilson, Rosanna Arquette, Paul Scheer, and Joaquin Phoenix, as well as producer Norman Lear, joined Fonda on stage in unity over her message.
Some lawmakers are closely watching the rallies
In the crowd among the thousands of protesters and journalists were also representatives from various lawmakers, including some from the office of the Mayor of Los Angeles.
“A lot of us are here because we wanted to see the kind of support it would get,” said one Assemblymembers’ representative who didn’t wish to be named. “A lot of people are being named in either doing enough or not doing anything, and we need to where we stand.”
“If someone famous says that a politician isn’t doing enough, people listen.”
“We’re also here to see which candidates are trying to campaign here a little.”
The unnamed Assembly aide specifically pointed out protest signs being given out by Tom Steyer campaigners and members of Greenpeace talking with crowd members about Bernie Sanders.
Counter protesters removed
Several counter protesters were also pulled out by organizers and police during the rally, some waving signs that Jane Fonda was a traitor, referencing her position and visits to Hanoi during the Vietnam War. At one point protesters shouted “You’re a traitor Jane!,” prompting Fonda to ask the audience “What did he say? Ok, never mind.”
When the California Globe questioned why some protesters weren’t allowed to protest or were being removed from the crowd, an unidentified organizer said “We don’t want any kind of ruckus to breakout. This is a peaceful event.”
Fire Drill Fridays are expected to be held around California and the country throughout 2020.
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