Fellow demonstrators sang "Happy Birthday" for the star as she was led away from inside the Hart Senate Office Building by a Capitol Police officer with her hands bound by zip ties.
Although Jane Fonda chose a rather unusual venue for her 82nd birthday party, the actress seemed to have a blast as she rung in her special day surrounded by likeminded individuals who care about the environment. Fonda, who has been leading weekly climate change protests called 'Fire Drill Fridays' since early October, was in great spirits on Friday as she was arrested for the 5th time in 3 months. Fellow demonstrators sang "Happy Birthday" for the Book Club star as she was led away from inside the Hart Senate Office Building by a Capitol Police officer with her hands bound by zip ties.
According to The Washington Post, Fonda's latest arrest came just a day before her 82nd birthday. A demonstrator in the crowd yelled "Everybody sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jane!" as the actress was escorted away by the police officer to which Fonda responded by pumping her arms above her head in triumph as the crowd broke into song. 137 other demonstrators were arrested from the protest on Friday, including fellow thespians, Casey Wilson, Catherine Keener, and Matt McGorry, the executive director of Greenpeace USA Annie Leonard, feminist activist Gloria Steinem, labor organizer Dolores Huerta, and Buddhist teacher and civil rights activist Roshi Joan Halifax.
Since October, Fonda has been holding weekly demonstrations calling for government action on the ongoing environmental crisis, a reduction in fossil fuel production, and congressional approval of the Green New Deal—an aggressive decade-long plan to address climate change. Following her 4th arrest last month, the actress spent a night in jail on a mattress-less cot and even loaned her signature red coat to a fellow inmate who was shivering inside the drafty building. Upon release, Fonda revealed one of her jailers had suggested that she find an alternative means to call attention to her cause. "I think she’s right. My 82-year-old bones hurt," the actress said as she walked out of the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse.
This is Jane Fonda’s 5th arrest since she began protesting climate change in #DC in Oct. Because she has been arrested so many times in a short period, she could be held in jail for several days. If she is kept overnight, @Janefonda will turn 82 behind bars. #FireDrillFriday pic.twitter.com/z4IA2e4dmC— Marissa J. Lang (@Marissa_Jae) December 20, 2019
Although she did keep on the down-low over the past few weeks — giving others the chance to take the lead and get arrested in her stead — Fonda stepped back into the fray with renewed vigor on Friday. She led a crowd in chants and song as the rally began in front of the Capitol and was greeted with a round of "Happy Birthday" upon climbing to a stage on the Capitol lawn. "You may generously say that you came to celebrate my birthday with me in this wonderful activist context, which has gained so much traction — more than I ever imagined — and I appreciate this. But I think we are all here today because we know what lies ahead. The Earth needs an army," the Monster-In-Law star told the crowd.
The crowd broke out into song as @Janefonda took the stage on the Southeast lawn of the Capitol. #happybirthdayJane #FireDrillFriday pic.twitter.com/ALQmPAvWwa— Marissa J. Lang (@Marissa_Jae) December 20, 2019
Friday's demonstration focused on the health implications of climate change and was attended by dozens of nurses, clad in white coats with signs that read "Climate change makes us sick" pinned to them. "As nurses, we are not just focused on treatment, we’re also focused on prevention. Not only should we care about the health impacts of climate change on our patients now, but we need to be on the front lines of calling for prevention," said Laura Worby, who treats refugee families in the District. Posting pictures from the rally on Instagram, Fonda gushed that "It was the Best Birthday Party EVER!!!! With Delores Huerta, Roshi Joan Halifax, Heather McTeer Toney, and Gloria Steinem."
Fire Drill Fridays shared several images and videos from Friday's demonstration on social media, revealing in one that for her 82nd birthday, Fonda "wanted 82 people to put their bodies on the line. Today at least 138 people were arrested demanding a #GreenNewDeal and #NoNewFossilFuels with #FireDrillFriday."