Jane Fonda: 'Civil disobedience is what changes history'

Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Jane Fonda believes in civil disobedience and its ability to change history.

The 82-year-old actress and political activist urged people to take action against climate change during Tuesday's episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers.


Fonda launched Fire Drill Fridays, a weekly demonstration in Washington, D.C., protesting U.S. policy on climate change, in October 2019. She has been arrested for civil disobedience five times since the event began.

"Engaging in civil disobedience -- it's not where you start as an activist. But for forty years we've been petitioning and protesting and marching and writing and lobbying, and our voices haven't been heard. The next step is civil disobedience," Fonda said.

"History has shown that civil disobedience is what changes history. That's what we did, and it got a lot of attention. That's what we were trying to do," she added.

Fonda said millions of people are concerned about climate change but aren't sure what to do.

"There are so many people in this country who know there's a climate crisis and know that it's caused by humans. They want to do something, but they don't know what. Thirteen million of them said they would do civil disobedience but nobody's asked. So we're asking," she said.


Fonda also discussed her arrest in the 1970s amid her anti-Vietnam war activism. She said then-president Richard Nixon ordered her arrest on trumped-up drug charges.

"It was not a voluntary arrest. I flew from Canada into Cleveland, Ohio, and they arrested me at the border and took all my vitamin pills and said they were drugs, and took all my books and papers and address books," Fonda said.

"The arresting officer told me he was working from orders from the White House. So that was not so cool," she added.

Fire Drill Fridays have gone virtual due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Friday's event will take place at 2 p.m. ET on Zoom and Facebook and feature Resilience Force founder Saket Soni.

Fonda further discusses her work against climate change in her new book, What Can I Do?: My Path from Climate Despair to Action, set for release Sept. 29.

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