Jane Fonda may spend her 82nd birthday behind bars.
Fonda, who has been leading weekly climate change protests called Fire Drill Fridays since early October, was arrested along with 137 other demonstrators inside the Hart Senate Office Building, where 50 US senators have offices.
Fonda turned 82 on Saturday.
As she was led away by a Capitol Police officer, her hands bound by zip ties, a demonstrator called out to the crowd, “Everybody sing ‘happy birthday’ to Jane!” She pumped her arms above her head in triumph as the crowd broke into song.
The arrest is her fifth in the past three months during demonstrations calling for government action on the environment, a reduction in fossil fuel production and congressional approval of the Green New Deal, an aggressive decade-long plan to address climate change.
Demonstrators who rack up multiple public-disturbance arrests in a short time are typically held overnight in the District of Columbia jail and made to appear in front of a judge before they can be set free.
Last month, after Fonda’s fourth arrest, she slept on a mattress-less cot in the jail, where she loaned her signature red coat to a fellow shivering inmate inside the drafty building. Upon her release, Fonda said, one of her jailers told her, “There’s gotta be a better way to call attention to your cause.”
“I think she’s right,” Fonda said as she walked out of the H Carl Moultrie Courthouse the next day. “My 82-year-old bones hurt.”
Fonda had been stepping aside for the past several weeks, encouraging others to be arrested in her stead. Police have arrested several celebrities, including Sally Field and Ted Danson, at the demonstrations. Other activists also have been arrested in droves.
But on Friday, Fonda — whose 1970 raised-fist mug shot has been a symbol of civil disobedience longer than many climate change activists have been alive — stepped back into the fray.
The rally began in front of the Capitol, where Fonda led a crowd in chants and song.
As she climbed to a stage on the Capitol lawn, demonstrators greeted the two-time Oscar-winning actress with a round of ‘Happy Birthday’.
The focus of Friday’s demonstration was the health implications of climate change — worsening air and water quality, the effects of extreme weather, and trauma tied to an increase in climate refugees.