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US News How Jane Fonda Convinces Her Famous Friends to Get Arrested

15:15  02 november  2019
15:15  02 november  2019 Source:   vulture.com

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Jane Fonda et al. standing in front of a crowd: John Lamparski /Getty Images © John Lamparski /Getty Images John Lamparski /Getty Images Jane Fonda doesn’t know if she should get arrested again. Last Friday was her third arrest in three weeks. When she launched Fire Drill Fridays, her weekly protests aimed at drawing attention to and pushing for action on the climate crisis, her plan was to be arrested every Friday through the end of the year. But she says she recently learned that, should she find herself carted away from the Capitol steps with her wrists in those plastic handcuffs one more time, she risks being locked up for 99 days or more.

“So I’ve spent the last 24 hours thinking about, what is better for the movement?” she told Vulture on Wednesday. The next demonstration was two days away. “And I decided that Jane Fonda’s martyrdom is not exactly going to be helpful for the movement. It’s not the getting arrested as much as it is just calling attention to the crisis and raising attention for the urgency.”

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She has an upcoming, unscheduled court date, which is what you get after your third arrest, and “it can be fairly serious if I get arrested before my court date — which I’m going to do. And then I’ll probably get arrested again after my court date.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08:  Actress Jane Fonda attends The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) © Getty LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Actress Jane Fonda attends The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) It’s not totally clear if that 99-days threat is a real one, as there don’t appear to be hard and fast rules about how these decisions get made. Samantha Miller, an organizer with DC Action Lab, supporting the logistics for Fire Drill Fridays, explained that “in theory, Capitol police will offer a post and forfeit” — which is when you get arrested, pay a $50 fine, and are released back into society — “no more than twice within a six-month period. Sometimes they say a year. But it’s arbitrary … Theoretically, at more than two arrests, you have to come back for a court date, likely more than one court date, and then lawyers are involved.” For someone in Fonda’s position, having an open court date “changes the dynamics.” But it’s largely up to the discretion of the police.

Still, Fonda figures she’ll be cutting back. “I may not get arrested every Friday,” she allows. “But maybe a few more times.”

A half-century or so of activism has culminated in this: Fonda has relocated to D.C. for four months to be, as her announcement put it, “closer to the epicenter of the fight for our climate.” This keeps Fonda in town through the end of 2019, the most she could manage given her Grace and Frankie shooting schedule. (She’d wanted to do a full year, but Netflix head Ted Sarandos isn’t that progressive: As the world burns, her show must go on.)

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 09:  Actress Jane Fonda attends GCAPP 'Eight Decades of Jane' in celebration of Jane Fonda's 80th birthday at The Whitley on December 9, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Paras Griffin/WireImage) © Getty ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 09: Actress Jane Fonda attends GCAPP 'Eight Decades of Jane' in celebration of Jane Fonda's 80th birthday at The Whitley on December 9, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/WireImage) Each Friday demonstration on Capitol Hill is preceded by a Thursday night digital teach-in, which can be livestreamed from anywhere on Earth with Wi-Fi, and is focused on a different aspect of the movement to save our planet from total and imminent devastation: oceans, the Green New Deal, environmental justice, women. Inspired by the students striking for climate change around the world and one of their most visible leaders, Greta Thunberg, who has said of the climate crisis that “our house is on fire,” Fonda’s demonstrations are called Fire Drill Fridays.

Our nation’s capital has seen wall-to-wall protests since a certain wall-obsessed president took office, and it’s easy for these actions to feel commonplace. In early 2017, The Week wondered “are protests the new brunch?” while the New York Times, always ready with an on-point take on life in Washington, reported that “many residents of this heavily Democratic area who once attended the occasional protest have adopted resistance to the Trump administration as a lifestyle.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 13:  Jane Fonda attends the premiere of HBO's 'Jane Fonda In Five Acts' at Hammer Museum on September 13, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) © Getty LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Jane Fonda attends the premiere of HBO's 'Jane Fonda In Five Acts' at Hammer Museum on September 13, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) But Fonda is an expert on courting and keeping attention. She’s been joined in her effort by a rotating cast of celebrity guests: Sam Waterston and Ted Danson have already gotten arrested alongside her; Rosanna Arquette and Catherine Keener are expected at the rally today.

“It’s my civil disobedience,” Arquette told Vulture. “We really are at the brink of extinction if we don’t do something. And people are not really taking this seriously.”

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a person in a yellow truck on the street: The front of a city bus is up in the air after a sinkhole opened under it during rush hour in downtown Pittsburgh on October 28, 2019. The Port Authority of Allegheny County says only the driver and one passenger were aboard the bus when it plunged into the hole. The passenger was taken to a hospital for a minor injury and the driver was uninjured.

She and Keener were with Fonda over Labor Day weekend on a trip to Big Sur when Fonda, who was in the middle of Naomi Klein’s On Fire: The (Burning) Case For a Green New Deal, came up with the idea for this action. “You could see it growing and growing until, at the end [of the trip], it was a fully realized action that was going to take place. To be able to witness that — I’ve known Jane since I was 20 years old. She is one of my mentors.”

“I was at Standing Rock and almost got arrested a couple times, but it ended up not happening,” she added.

Actress Jane Fonda gestures after being arrested during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. A half-century after throwing her attention-getting celebrity status into Vietnam War protests, Fonda is now doing the same in a U.S. climate movement where the average age is 18. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) © Getty Actress Jane Fonda gestures after being arrested during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. A half-century after throwing her attention-getting celebrity status into Vietnam War protests, Fonda is now doing the same in a U.S. climate movement where the average age is 18. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) Fonda ticks off a list of stars who’ve RSVP’d yes to her: “Taylor Schilling, Diane Lane, Mark Ruffalo, Bobby Kennedy, Jackson Browne. Sharon Stone wants to come. Pamela Anderson said she wanted to come. Piper Perabo. Oh, and Shailene Woodley! And Kyra Sedgwick.” And last week, she went viral by accepting a BAFTA Britannia Award while being arrested. “Thank you! I’m sorry I’m not there!” she called out, holding up her handcuffed fists. “I’m very honored!”

“I had booked a lot of contracted speaking engagements before I decided to do this, and it turns out I couldn’t get out of them without getting sued,” Fonda explained. “The award was obviously something I wasn’t contracted to do. And I said to my team in California I couldn’t be there, and they screamed and yelled … But I don’t care about awards, [so I said] I’m not going. And I thought, why don’t they just film me being arrested and I’ll give my thanks? And they were very happy with that.”

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 22:  Actress Jane Fonda attends the Kering 'Women in Motion' Master Class With Jane Fonda At La Cinematheque Francaise at la cinematheque on October 22, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images) © Getty PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 22: Actress Jane Fonda attends the Kering 'Women in Motion' Master Class With Jane Fonda At La Cinematheque Francaise at la cinematheque on October 22, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images) Here is what it’s like to get arrested with Fonda at a Fire Drill Friday demonstration:

The day starts at 9:30 a.m., at a building close to the Capitol. For about an hour and a half, everyone in attendance gets a crash course in getting arrested. They are told: Don’t wear jewelry. Have a full stomach before things get started (food is provided) because you’re not eating again until about 4 in the afternoon. You need to have a valid photo ID and $50 exactly, because the police don’t make change and you’ll need it to post-and-forfeit, which is how these arrests are typically resolved (more on that in a minute). The $50 will be provided if you don’t have it.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 02:  Actor Jane Fonda attends #NETFLIXFYSEE Event For 'Grace and Frankie' at Netflix FYSEE at Raleigh Studios on June 2, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by JC Olivera/WireImage) © Getty LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 02: Actor Jane Fonda attends #NETFLIXFYSEE Event For 'Grace and Frankie' at Netflix FYSEE at Raleigh Studios on June 2, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JC Olivera/WireImage) “During preparation, a wonderful guy who is a member of our digital team takes us through a meditation and gets us grounded in our bodies,” Fonda said. “And then we do a series of martial arts, kind of loud noises. It’s very good! It’s very helpful. And then we go out.”

DC Action Lab representatives “go through the legal risks and implications: the likely scenario, the worst-case scenarios,” Miller said. “We give people tips for how to deal with and interact with police. We make sure … they don’t have anything illegal or anything like that on them. Generally making sure people are prepared mentally, physically, emotionally for what the experience of getting arrested will be like.”

“I’m not nervous because I’ve been arrested before,” Fonda said. (She actually sells merch bearing her iconic mug shot.) “But other people tend to be quite nervous. But as it goes on they realize there’s nothing to be nervous about. We’re white, for the most part — not entirely, but enough of us are white and famous so that the police don’t mistreat anybody. I’m well aware of the fact that if I were not famous and I were black, the situation could be quite different.”

LYON, FRANCE - OCTOBER 19:  Jane Fonda attends the Jane Fonda Master Class at the 10th Film Festival Lumiere on October 19, 2018 in Lyon, France.  (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images) © Getty LYON, FRANCE - OCTOBER 19: Jane Fonda attends the Jane Fonda Master Class at the 10th Film Festival Lumiere on October 19, 2018 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images) So, you’ve arrived and you’re protesting. The police give you three warnings. If you haven’t left after the third warning, congratulations! You’re getting arrested. Don’t get too excited: It’s just a misdemeanor. “They put plastic handcuffs on you and put you in police wagons,” Fonda said. “The ones I’ve been in have a division down the middle, with four or five women on each side.”

For Fonda’s first Fire Drill Friday arrest, the protesters were divided into two groups and taken into cells for three hours or so. “Then they put all your belongings — coats, hats, whatever — in plastic bags, and they put a colored wristband on you,” Fonda said. Then you get fingerprinted and you pay your $50 and you go. “And as you come out, there’s the jail support team on the other side, with food and drinks and hugs and cheers and a documentary team, and that’s that.”

For the people alongside Fonda who are new to this kind of civic engagement, “They have a profound experience during the arrest … They come to realize that this is really a crisis, and they have to up their game and step up their activism. That’s what I’m aiming for.”

LYON, FRANCE - OCTOBER 19:  Jane Fonda arrives to the Jane Fonda Master Class at the 10th Film Festival Lumiere on October 19, 2018 in Lyon, France.  (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images) © Getty LYON, FRANCE - OCTOBER 19: Jane Fonda arrives to the Jane Fonda Master Class at the 10th Film Festival Lumiere on October 19, 2018 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

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Jane Fonda at 81, Proudly Protesting and Going to Jail .
WASHINGTON — The night before Jane Fonda was arrested here again last week, a member of her social media team asked whether she would consider writing a letter from jail. WASHINGTON — The night before Jane Fonda was arrested here again last week, a member of her social media team asked whether she would consider writing a letter from jail. “With what?” Fonda replied. “I’ll be without my phone.” She paused a beat, “Or adult diapers.” Also, Fonda continued, musing out loud, it was one thing for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to write a letter from jail. But her? The plan was nixed.

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