Inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg's World Economic Forum speech, where she said “Our house is on fire”, Fonda founded Fire Drill Fridays, a movement that protests government inaction on climate change.
Every week, she and fellow activists, including other famous faces like Ted Danson and Rosanna Arquette, hold a demonstration on Capitol Hill demanding action from politicians. Each protest has its own theme and provides a platform for scientists, activists, and community members to share their stories and expertise on the issue.
Fonda also hosts “teach-ins” on Thursday nights, where she brings together experts on climate-related topics, such as oceans, gender, and environmental justice, and livestreams their talks.
Fire Drill Fridays have five top priorities: a Green New Deal, a promise of respect for indigenous land and indigenous sovereignty, environmental justice for those displaced by climate crisis, protection and restoration of biodiversity, and a commitment to sustainable agricultural practices.
“I will be on the Capitol every Friday, rain or shine, inspired and emboldened by the incredible movement our youth have created. I can no longer stand by and let our elected officials ignore--and even worse--empower--the industries that are destroying our planet for profit. We can not continue to stand for this,” said Fonda in her Fire Drill Fridays mission statement.
As part of her commitment to saving the planet, Fonda has vowed to stop buying clothes. The red coat she wears every Friday to the protests is the last item of clothing she plans to purchase.
“The team and I decided at the very beginning that we should all try to wear something red. I racked my brain—I didn't have anything red. I don't usually wear red. So I decided that the last article of clothing that I will ever buy is a red coat. Sure enough, I found one at Neiman Marcus on sales for $500. And that's the coat. I'm speaking out against consumerism and so I have to walk the talk. And so that's the last thing I'll buy,” she said.
So far, Fonda has been arrested four times, and is likely to add a fifth arrest to her rap sheet during her next protest. Her first two arrests were misdemeanors, which she told The Hollywood Reporter, “It's not a felony. You pay 50 bucks and you get out.”
Following her third arrest, she was given a court date. But because she was arrested a fourth time before her court appearance, so she was jailed for a night.
If she continues to be arrested (which is more than likely as Fonda is not one to back down from a fight), she can be incarcerated for 90 days, but before that happens she will first receive three warnings. According to Esquire, Fonda has vowed to step away at the third warning.
Fonda has rallied more celebrities to join her on her mission. Next week, June Diane Raphael and Brooklyn Decker, who play Fonda’s daughters on Grace & Frankie, will attend the protest, and actresses Lily Tomlin, Diane Lane, Kyra Sedgwick, and Taylor Schilling are also set to make an appearance in the coming weeks.