SECOND FIRE DRILL FRIDAY IN CALIFORNIA

Friday we held a very successful and large Fire Drill Friday in San Pedro, an hour south of Los Angeles and one of the nation’s largest ports and oil refinery complex, where oil is exported to other parts of the world. We wanted to confront the immense, destructive power of the fossil fuel industry. Here in California, oil companies have been allowed to drill at will for nearly 150 years, fueling the climate crisis, and also a health and an environmental justice crisis from the production of their dirty product.

Many celebrity friends joined the rally and there was a lot of press covering it. It was especially gratifying to have labor represented.

Actors Sam Waterson and Rosanna Arquette

Diane Lane and Billie Lee (R)

Alicia Rivera

That morning, Communities for a Better Environment and the Stand LA Coalition delivered a letter from them and me to City Councilman Buscaino from me letting him know that we hold him accountable for the devastating health impact on the city of Wilmington due to the fact that oil wells are drilling in people’s back yards, next to schools, playgrounds and health clinics. For generations, residents have suffered headaches, nosebleeds, and nausea in the short-term. In the longer term, exposure to many of the chemicals like benzene causes cancer, birth defects, and other devastating harm.

Councilman Buscaino receives 100s of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel industry and we demanded during the rally right next to his office building that he pay more attention to his constituents and less to the industry. For the first time ever, he sent a message saying he would meet with representatives from the organizations. He will be up for re-election next year and, if he doesn’t act to stop the drilling in Wilmington, we will make sure he is ousted.

Here, we are marching to the site of the civil disobedience

Demonstrating outside the Warren Energy and Power oil extraction site

After the rally, the biggest in memory we were told, we toured neighborhoods in Wilmington. We saw pumps and transfer facilities literally feet from bedroom windows. Then we walked around one of the facilities – again right in a neighborhood – and our throats burned and the air smelled of something metallic. And families are unable to sell their homes and buy anything comparable in CA. After that march, we gathered outside the entrance to a large transfer facility and a group of people engaged in civil disobedience by sitting down and blocking the gate. There were police all around plus a drone and a police helicopter but there were no arrests.

Oil wells next to people’s homes in Wilmington, Los Angeles

Marching with trans actor, Billie Lee on my left and on my right Jovan Houston

Helping with speaker introductions are: Billie Lee; Lana Parrilla; Sam Waterston; Josh Pence; Rosanna Arquette; Diane Lane; Saffron Burrows; and Lily Tomlin.

Actress Lana Parrilla

We’re going to be holding a Fire Drill Friday every month, demanding that Governor Gavin Newson and City Councils and mayors in California stop any new fossil fuel drilling, begin to plan a phase out that includes a Just Transition for fossil fuel workers and communities hit the hardest and institutes a 2,500 ft Health and Safety buffer zone between oil wells, fracking pits and refineries and where people live, work, play and worship. And we’ll keep it up till they do.

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11 Comments
  1. Hi Jane,
    Thank you for all you have been doing in DC and now LA with Fire Drill Fridays. I recently had an experience similar to what you described about feeling a need to get involved. For me, it has been hard to sit by the sidelines and watch this administration strip away environmental protections and regulations and destroy what we have left of this planet. Your Fire Drill Friday teach-ins were extremely eye-opening and ultimately led me to join my local chapter of the Sunrise Movement here in Cleveland. It is really encouraging to see that so many other young people care as much as I do and are willing to take action to make sure future generations have a livable future. I have never before in my life felt such a pull to take action, and I hope more people will join me. I don’t have much of a background as an activist but I have a voice to use and I think that’s all it takes.

    My friend Allie and I met because of Fire Drill Fridays. She was arrested with you on several occasions and we connected over Twitter due to our shared interest in climate activism. We are both graduates of Kent State University and are thrilled that you will be coming to KSU to speak for the commemoration of the tragic events of 5/4/70. I’m sure it was not an easy decision because the mention of this era can bring up many different reactions from people, but I am so happy they invited you, and really commend you for saying yes!!

    I think you are the perfect choice. Your activism over the years has inspired myself and many, many others to always fight to end injustices in the world. I think it will be a really special evening. While you are in Kent, do you have any plans to meet with local activists? I know my friend and I are both very interested in possibly starting a local chapter of Fire Drill Fridays. I think starting a FDF would be great opportunity for some of our local climate groups to all band together. Thanks again. I am so looking forward to cheering you on at KSU!

  2. Hi Jane!

    I want to thank you again for inspiring me—and so many others—to think about the climate crisis, activism, and our place in the world in a different, transformative way.

    I got arrested three times—my first-ever arrest(s)—with Fire Drill Fridays in D.C. and we spoke briefly on Dec 27 and Jan 10. I’m the managing editor of Roadtrippers Magazine and in April, I’m beginning a cross-country road trip in an effort to better understand America with a focus on the climate crisis; since I’m new to activism, I also hope to learn more about movement-building and I am eager to help out wherever I can along the way. 

    I’m also a Kent State grad and I’ll be in Ohio for your speech during the May 4th commemoration. I know the decision to accept the invitation must not have been easy, but I think you’re the perfect choice—thank you, again, for your continued courage and leadership.

    Several of us planning to attend your KSU talk have been inspired directly by you and Fire Drill Fridays—and spurred into action in our communities as a result. I’ve signed up through all of the respective channels to get involved with the expansion of Fire Drill Fridays, but I’m wondering if you have plans to—or advice for anyone who is ready and willing to help—bring Fire Drill Fridays to Ohio?

    I will forever hold those D.C. Fire Drill Fridays close to my heart as I try to build on—and channel—the knowledge I gain into future actions as I cross the country. And know that we’ll be cheering you on loudly at KSU!

    xoxo
    Allie

    • Alexandra, I’m so happy you’ve written me! I am bad on names so when I wrote about meeting you in the Fire Drill Friday book that’s coming out in August, I will cite you and your magazine by name. See you at Kent State and let;s pray it isn’t cancelled. This virus is playing havoc with the massive plans the students have made for Earth Day. So much being outlawed and cancelled. But maybe it will expose the Prez for the fraud he is. Go onto the FDF website and click on”Taking Action” to see about starting one in Ohio. Stay strong. xx Jane

  3. Go, Jane! We honor you and all the other great women fighting for us on this International Women’s Day!

    On another note, it was so nice to see you at the Oscars, delivering us a historic moment so beautifully and with such lovely suspense. Also, many people can learn from you how to make a statement with taste and respect. Bravo!

  4. Hey, Dear Jane!
    As Always I am following your steps from Mexico, getting informed and admiring all the hard work you’re doing.

    Meanwhile in Mexico is taking place another kind of protest against our government because of alarming increase of femicides and the indifference of our president. I just wanted to tell you that you have inspired me to be part of it, to fight and raise my voice to make the difference. I am so engaged in this new movement and hopefully, very soon we can have a movement against Climate Change because it’s a cause I really care for.
    Thank You, Jane, for being my biggest inspiration.
    I love you so much.
    With Love,
    Pau

  5. Hi Jane, i just wanted to give you a quick shoutout and let you know how much i admire you! Grace and Frankie made a serious impact on my life during a really dark time in my life and helped me overcome the obstacles i was then facing. You are amazing and i really want to thank you for making me a happier person! I appreciate it. Much Love ♡♡ Meg

  6. You are such an inspiration to me Jane! Thank you for your activism on the critical issue of climate change and the crisis unfolding right in front of us! I’ve learned so much from the Firedrill Fridays!! Thank you Jane!!

  7. hey, jane!
    a few weeks ago made it a year since i saw you in palm springs. but that’s besides the point, i love following your work with the climate crisis. i preordered your book yesterday, and i am so excited to read it! i have been devouring as many books on climate action as i can and yours definitely has me the MOST excited. i signed up to join the green peace team and i’m ecstatic to start volunteering with them! i’m hoping fire drill fridays come to michigan soon. stay safe with this outbreak of the virus! can’t wait to see you again. xx, sienna

    • We will for sure come to Michigan. Michigan is always in my heart

  8. Jane, I know that nothing scares you, but I think it is important that you take care of your health these days. Sorry for this comment , if you want delete it.

  9. I looked up the stopthemoneypipeline.com as suggested. The closest action on the 23rd or 22nd of April seemed to be in Chico, CA. or Albuquerque. Nothing in Phoenix. I was hoping to find an action already planned for the Chase Tower in Phoenix, but nothing so far. I have no time to start an action by that date as I will be traveling back and forth WA to AZ. So I will just wait until here and connect with the group. I did learn much from the site, like they have flyers, letters and banners which is something I wondered about. Where I am moving has activists who took part in planning the Women’s Day march. I will meet with them and learn more how to get involved. You’ve started me on another path. Dona

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