Phoenix, who picked up a Golden Globe on Sunday for his “Joker” performance, gave a speech at the Friday protest that touched on the meat and dairy industries’ huge contributions to climate change. The famously vegan actor encouraged others to look at their own dietary habits.
“I struggle so much with what I can do at times,” he said. “There are things that I can’t avoid. I flew a plane out here. … But one thing that I can do is change my eating habits, and I just want to urge all of you to join me in that, and you as well, Jane.”
Sheen also spoke, delivering a powerful speech about being “called to find something in our lives worth fighting for.”
Phoenix, Sheen and 145 other people occupying the Capitol Hill steps were arrested, Capitol Hill police told Deadline. The outlet reports that arrestees were hit with charges of crowding, obstructing or incommoding and were released. In contrast, the first Fire Drill Friday protest in October saw 16 people arrested.
Fonda’s arrest at that first demonstration made national headlines. The then 81-year-old Hollywood legend had announced prior to the protest that she was moving to Washington for four months to lead the weekly rallies, at which she planned on getting arrested.
“The most important [of our demands] is to stop all new leasing permits for any fossil fuel development on public lands and waters,” Fonda told The Los Angeles Times prior to the kickoff rally. “Because no matter what we do, if that doesn’t stop, we’re doomed.”
Since then, she’s been arrested at the protests several times and spent the night in Jail in early November.
Friday’s protest was the last Fire Drill Friday in D.C. Fonda led off the event with words of compassion for Australia, which is suffering from massive wildfires on the heels of its hottest and driest years on record.
“I want us all to open our hearts for a moment for the people in Australia who are living in an inferno as a result of the climate crisis,” she said. “People who are losing their homes, who are fleeing their lands, a land that has recently lost to the fires what is reported to be a billion animals. Our hearts go out to them.”
Fonda also credited young activists with inspiring her to take action and urged people not to forget about them.
“I want us all to remember that the student climate strikers who were here before me and will be continue after me,” she said, according to a transcript from The Associated Press. “They are here every Friday protesting the climate crisis, sacrificing a lot to do that, and I want to thank them because that’s where my inspiration came from, these young people that are so brave and are sacrificing so much.”
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