Actress Jane Fonda was joined by activists and celebrities on Capitol Hill for her seventh consecutive “Fire Drill Fridays” protest, where she called for immediate action on protecting water resources affected by climate change.
“We should be scared we should be panicked, because this is really serious,” Fonda said. “I think of all the aspects of climate change and how that impacts everything on the planet and in our lives, water may be the most serious. Water is life.”
The 81-year-old Academy Award winner, who started the protests in October, was accompanied this week by “The Good Place” actor Manny Jacinto, “Unfaithful” actress Diane Lane, “Angel has Fallen” actress Piper Perabo and model Amber Valletta.
The protest began with a rally on the Capitol lawn, where the Grammy-nominated a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock performed. After that, about 100 demonstrators blocked a street near the Library of Congress.
Capitol Police began making arrests after telling people to clear the street. Among those arrested were Perabo, Valletta and Lane.
Eva Malecki, the communications director for the Capitol Police, said 38 people were arrested in connection with the protests.
Fonda, who has been arrested in previous Fire Drill Fridays, said she has decided not to risk further run-ins with the law because her legal team warned her she could face extended jail time if she faces more charges.
Fonda instead called on protesters to support the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity, and Reliability Act of 2019, a bill introduced by Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) to fund improvements in water infrastructure.
The bill has 81 cosponsors in the House. Its companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The same measure was introduced in the previous Congress by former Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). The bill did not advance out of committee.
Jacinto, who was born in the Philippines, said the Philippines is the country most susceptible to climate change. He urged protesters to push for policy changes and asked them to include groups affected by climate change in the policy conversation.
“For Filipinos and numerous other communities who are in survival mode at the front lines of climate emergency, we thank you and again we please ask you to help raise their voices,” Jacinto said.
Fonda said she reached out to Jacinto after hearing how inspired he was by the example of Ted Danson, his fellow star on “The Good Place,” who was arrested with Fonda in October.
Fonda’s “Grace and Frankie” co-stars Sam Waterston, Brooklyn Decker and June Diane Raphael have all joined her at previous Fire Drill Fridays.