MY FIRE DRILL FRIDAYS

Last Friday was the 5th Fire Drill Friday at the Capitol in DC and it was swell in every way…wonderful speakers, especially Phyllis Bennis, longtime activist and policy expert on militarism and war, Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and Krystal Two Bulls, a Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne Army vet who is an environmental activist and a member of the terrific vet group About Face.

Ben & Jerry’s co-founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield

This time Friday’s focus was on war, the military and climate change. I learned so much preparing for our Thursday night teach-in which is live-streamed @firedrillfriday and the next day’s rally. I have known that for the last 40 years, our wars have been about fossil fuel. But I didn’t know that the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of fossil fuel. And that 53 cents of every discretionary dollar of the federal government goes to the military and that we can cut billions of dollars from the Pentagon budget and still be safe…in fact, we’d probably be safer because, another thing I learned was that we can’t successfully fight terrorism militarily. It must be done through diplomacy and, frankly, empathy. One reason Al Quaeda bombed the U.S. on 9/11 was because we had our troops stationed for decades on their lands, indirectly to guard their oil and some of those troops were stationed on their sacred sites, which roused lethal resentment and shame. “How can we allow this disrespect, this shaming to continue?!”

This all led me to realize that the climate movement must be a peace movement because to stop wars is to stop the fossil fuel industry and to stop the fossil fuel industry is to stop wars. Hence, from here on I will add “Cut the military budget and divest from the war machine” to the other calls to action:

  • No New Fossil Fuels
  • Phase Out Existing Fossil Fuel Extraction
  • Ensure a Just Transition for workers in the Fossil Fuel Industry
  • Support a Green New Deal

📢 What do we want?🗣Climate justice!📢When do we want it?🗣Now!📢If we don’t get it?🔥Shut it down!#FireDrillFriday #GreenNewDeal #RemoveTrump @ The White House, Washington, D.C.

Posted by Fire Drill Fridays on Friday, November 8, 2019


After the rally we merged with a march calling for Trump’s impeachment and began the 2-mile march from the Capitol to the White House to engage in civil disobedience there because Trump is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Treaty. We stopped along the way to give support to the Dreamers who were heading to a rally in front of the Supreme Court which, next week, will hear a case which may decide the fate of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals which gives these young people a needed pathway to citizenship. It was a beautiful moment of true cross-movement love… otherwise known as ‘intersectionality.’

Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Last Friday was the first time I didn’t get arrested. In fact, no one did. “Shame,” we shouted in front of the White House. “Shame.” Though people sat down in front of the gates to the White House, the guards wouldn’t arrest people. I’m not sure why.

But even if they had arrested folks, I would have stepped away at the 3rd warning. I have been advised that, because I’ve had 4 arrests in a short period of time and I have a court date coming up mid-November concerning those arrests, if I get arrested again before then, I risk 90 days in jail.

The purpose of the Fire Drill Fridays is not to get arrested. The reason we are doing this is because we want to join with the students climate strikers and Greta Thunberg to raise awareness of the seriousness and urgency of the emergency and urge people to take action, including civil disobedience. Let me quote what Greta says in her book, “No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference“:

“Today we use 100 million barrels of oil every day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground. So we can’t save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change. And it has to start today. So everyone out there: it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.”

I can rebel and be more effective outside of jail. That said, civil disobedience is to be respected and honored and I deeply honor those who engage in non-violent civil disobedience to call attention to the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced: The climate crisis.

If my followers on social media want to know how to get involved you can text ‘jane’ to 877877.

Share This Post
8 Comments
  1. You’re inspiring me every day. I am learning a lot about and I am in awe with you and your fight, how brave and amazing you are. I love you.

  2. Jane, you have the best team supporting you, the posters every week are excellent, the dissemination of the events is very timely and efficient, congratulations very good job

  3. Jane, I’m so touched by everything you’re doing for saving our planet and so very proud of you. If you’ve been warned about the possibility of spending 90 days in jail it’s wise as you already said to step away and focus on what you can do from now on. You can definitely be more effective outside jail.
    I’m sending my good vibes and love to you <3!

  4. Hi dear Jane! Glad to read you on the blog. But I’m glad to know that you’re going to take care not to go to jail again. You must take care because you are more useful outside of it. I live in another country. I’m from Uruguay. I speak and write in Spanish although I understand English in context. I use the translator here. Hope it’s understandable.
    Today I woke up and read sad news. In Bolivia, a country close to ours, US soldiers train the police. At this moment, the Bolivian government is on the verge of a coup d’etat. We wonder why. Sure! We know that Bolivia has “much lithium” so necessary for military use but also for electric batteries. Unfortunately, Trump is stuck with this. He supports the blows in Latin America, so rich in natural resources.
    For all this, I ADMIRE your intelligence and your fight for climate change, for the lowering of your country’s budget in the military field, since the desire to lead and extend is as great as it is unnecessary. People want to live in peace !!! Enough of wars and confrontations where the most vulnerable are killed first.
    Your fight is important. I wish you ALL THE ENERGY AND HEALTH OF THE WORLD !!! It takes MANY “JANE” like you !!! I love you and GO ON! A big hug from this Uruguayan to a brave of all time !!! 😊😊😍😍🇺🇾

  5. Dear Ms. Fonda,

    I was at the last Fire Drill Friday on November 9th. I live in New York, and have a wonderful friend named Emma who goes to American University in Washington D.C. After learning about the start of Fire Drill Friday, I would eagerly read the news every week, waiting for which topic your team would choose to discuss, and watch the Facebook teach-ins religiously. Emma and I would talk each week about your protests, and how I felt so trapped with my tight schedule and being in New York instead of DC, so far away from your action. One day, something snapped inside my head and suddenly I couldn’t take being on the outside anymore. I bought an Amtrak ticket to D.C. I borrowed my roommate’s red jacket. I packed my bag, and I called Emma.
    We arrived at the southeast lawn of the U.S. Capitol right at 11 am on Friday, and were immediately knocked off our feet by your speakers. You are so passionate, Jodie Evans is so fiery, Krystal Two Bulls is so inspirational. And of course, Ben and Jerry’s dedication to using their platform to bring awareness to the climate crisis is more than admirable. The march began, and Emma and I started walking in the general direction of the crowd, not sure when we’d actually start moving or how any of this worked. Suddenly someone, a member of your Fire Drill Friday team presumably, said “hold this” and handed me a piece of the long, black “Remove Trump” banner. I looked to my immediate left and realized I somehow was two people away from you. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the row of passionate, inspiring, dedicated, powerful people holding the same banner as I when I looked upwards and made eye contact with you. Through our sunglasses we locked eyes, made mutual faces of excitement and anticipation, then nodded in a mutual understanding of what we were about to do. We began to march.
    There are no words to describe the feeling of what happens during the Fire Drill Friday marches. There are hundreds of people walking as one, raising their voices in solidarity for a cause we all believe in above anything. We walk, we sing, we chant, we hold hands and smile and push onward. And at the front of that spectacle this past Friday? Me and Emma, 20-year-old college students from the same rural town in Massachusetts who suddenly decided that we would not sit still any longer. Being a part of the beating heart of the climate justice movement is a feeling that will stay with me always.
    Thank you for creating Fire Drill Friday’s. Thank you for encouraging myself, Emma and others to scream at the top of our lungs that our planet is dying and we need solutions NOW. Thank you for teaching us that our voices matter in a fight as large as climate justice. Thank you for giving us a place to put our passion, a place to be with like-minded people and discuss what we believe in. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

    All my love,
    Gianna DiReda

    P.S. I’d feel weird if I didn’t also include a thank you for your workout videos- doing those for years is probably the only reason I had the arm and core strength to wave my Fire Drill Friday sign above my head for hours yesterday. You’ve taught me so much, in more ways than one.

    • Gianna, what a beautiful post! I’m so glad things worked out for you and your friend. I LOVE it when folks just decide to come on down. This must become the new normal as climate gets worse, moire creatures go extinct, people die and the Fossil Fuel Industry tries to keep us ignorant. We MUST amass in the streets in greater and greater numbers. That’s always what creates change. So thanks to you for your guts!!!!

  6. Dear Jane, you make great u commit yourself to other people! I think they are great u what they do everything u commit u no matter what some people say to you u are jealous of them, they do not listen! You are a lovely and great person with a lot of heart! I admire you very much u you are a great role model for me and give me strength !! I love you ♥ ️ Greetings Barbara

  7. Jane, I hope I’m not impertinent, but I have to tell you this, people don’t realize it and it bothers me, you make a great sacrifice being away from your dog and your home and you’re living in a colder place than where you live , not any people would do it I would like to have a little of your courage, thanks for the inspiration.

Leave a Reply