In protesting climate change, actress Jane Fonda brings Hollywood to Washington

Actresses and activists Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda lead a climate protest on the steps of the US Capitol in Washington on Dec 27, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) - This holiday weekend found Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin standing in front of an empty Capitol building, debating the environmental hazards of fresh-cut Christmas trees.

Fonda and Tomlin star in Netflix's "Grace and Frankie", where they play two women in their 70s whose husbands have run off together. The two women have been a buddy act since the 1980 film "9 to 5", and last Friday (Dec 27) they teamed up for Fire Drill Friday.

The weekly protest against congressional inaction on climate change began 12 weeks ago, billed as something of an adult "atta girl" celebrity cheering section for the youth climate strikes of Greta Thunberg.

Fonda was told that Congress is rarely in session Friday afternoons, but she stuck to the schedule because throughout the world, youth climate actions are also on Fridays.

Fonda's Fire Drill Fridays have become something of a place to see and be seen in Washington. Fonda, in fact, has been bringing Hollywood to Washington. One week it was Ted Danson, and the next it was Catherine Keener.

There are teach-ins, and birthday parties, and lunches at fashionable Washington restaurants for the climate activists and celebrity friends drawn into Fonda's orbit, all of whom have the routine down pat: rally, get arrested, get released, and repeat.

The focus of last Friday's fire drill - The Way Climate Change Affects Our Forests, the Lungs of the World - featured experts addressing the dire state of rainforests and the plight of indigenous people dying in clashes over their native lands.

More than 100 participants have been arrested at previous Fire Drills.

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