THIS WEEK’S FOCUS IS THE COMMITMENT TO ENSURE A “JUST TRANSITION” FOR WORKERS AND COMMUNITIES MOST AFFECTED BY THE MOVE TO A CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY
Jane Fonda’s 10th “Fire Drill Friday” focuses on the need for a Just Transition from our fossil fuel-based economy to one based on clean, renewable energy sources.
In a Just Transition to a clean energy economy, we need programs and policies that provide wage, benefits, pension and collective bargaining guarantees for workers and retirees who have devoted their entire lives to producing the fuel, electricity and products responsible for sustaining America’s economic prosperity.
This week’s civil disobedience will be on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building. Rally speakers will call on legislators to take fast action to ensure that the communities most damaged by climate change now and the workers who will be most affected by the move to a clean energy economy are at the table when decisions about solutions are considered in order to create a just transition—good jobs, good pay, good healthcare, good housing and union representation.
*Jane Fonda plans to risk arrest again on Friday, December 20th, the day before her 82nd birthday. She expects to be held in jail overnight on that date. She will refrain from risking arrest until then in order to avoid what she has been advised might be a 30 to 90-day jail sentence. Her supporters believe she will be more effective in sounding the alarm about climate change if she remains active, on the outside and so, they will continue to take up the baton and face arrest for civil disobedience.
Jane Fonda will be joined at every “Fire Drill Friday” through early January by celebrities, scientists, economists and people from impacted communities who will speak and some of whom will invite arrest.
Every Thursday night (7pm ET) she will moderate a live-streamed teach-in with the next day’s speakers who will discuss the specific climate change issue that is the focus of that week’s event.
Inspired by the growing movement of young climate strikers, Fonda decided to move to the nation’s capital for four months to take up their baton. The effort aims to spur action to avert what the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calls irreversible climate disaster if atmospheric CO2 warms the planet by another 1.5 to 2 degrees Centigrade in the next 11 years.
This week, Fire Drill Fridays speakers (see list below) begin at 11AM at the Southeast Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. They and Jane Fonda will then join the people assembled and walk to the Capitol’s steps, many of them will commit civil disobedience and risk arrest.
- Baltimore Teachers Union President Diamonté Brown was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, where she attended Baltimore City Public Schools. President Brown believes in a member-run union. @BTUBaltimore https://www.facebook.com/baltimoreteachersunion/
- Sally Field is an actress and director who’s starred in countless films, including the labor classic Norma Rae, for which she won her first Oscar.
- Michael Leon Guerrero is the Executive Director of the Labor Network for Sustainability. He has been a community organizer for over 30 years, and has previously served as the National Coordinator of the Climate Justice Alliance, and co-founded and served as the National Coordinator of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance from 2004-2012, playing a leadership role in organizing the World and US Social Forums, and helped strengthen environmental policy and enforcement in low-income Chicano communities.
- Winona LaDuke is a rural development economist and author working on issues of Indigenous Economics, Food and Energy Policy. She co-founded Honor the Earth with the Indigo Girls, as a platform to raise awareness of and money for indigenous struggles for environmental justice. Globally and nationally, Winona is known as a leader in the issues of cultural-based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy, and sustainable food systems. She is one of the leaders in the work of protecting Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering.
- Sam Smith is the director of the Just Transition Center, set up by the global union movement to help unions and their allies get concrete plans on Just Transition. Sam is originally from the US and is a lawyer and activist.
- Clint Sobratti is a public bus driver in Montgomery County, Maryland and a member of UFCW Local 1994. He is an elected chief steward, a member of the Local Bargaining Committee, and one of the founding members of the Local Green Committee.
- Kristin Taylor has been a Baltimore City Public Schools middle school teacher and a member of the Baltimore Teachers’ Union for thirteen years. Ms. Taylor is currently teaching 7th grade social studies at Hamilton Elementary Middle School in Northeast Baltimore. During her time at Hamilton, she has helped to found and facilitate the social justice club. Empowering young people to have a voice and advocate for what is right with passion and power is her favorite part of being an educator.
- Joe Uehlein is the Founding President of the Labor Network for Sustainability, and Voices for a Sustainable Future. Joe is the former secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO’s Industrial Union Department and former director of the AFL-CIO Center for Strategic Campaigns. Joe spent over 30 years doing organizing, bargaining, and strategic campaign work in the labor movement. Joe also served on the United Nations commission on global warming from its inception in 1988 through the Kyoto Accords in 1997 until 2003. Joe is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and served as a senior strategic advisor to the Blue Green Alliance for five years.
“FIRE DRILL FRIDAYS” CALLS ON ALL AMERICANS TO VOTE, SPEAK AND ACT IN SUPPORT OF THE DEMANDS LISTED BELOW AND ALIGNED WITH THOSE OF THE YOUTH-LED CLIMATE STRIKERS STRIKEWITHUS.ORG
VOTE: for the climate in every election up and down the ballot. Vote for candidates who are in favor of a Green New Deal and a bold and responsible transition from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy.
SPEAK: tocandidates or elected officials. Tell them that climate can’t wait. Call them, sign petitions and go to their town halls. Write letters to the editor of your local paper. Put your money where your mouth is: divest from fossil fuel companies and invest in a sustainable future.
ACT: Join an organization working for real climate solutions. March, protest and recruit your friends to join. Listen and show up for communities most impacted by climate change and, if you can, put your body on the line.
A GREEN NEW DEAL
· Transform our economy to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030 and phase out all fossil fuel extraction through a just and equitable transition, creating millions of good jobs
· A halt to all leasing and permitting for fossil fuel extraction, processing and infrastructure projects immediately in order to avoid a lock-in of increased emissions as we work together for a responsible transition to clean, renewable energy.
RESPECT OF INDIGENOUS LAND AND SOVEREIGNTY
· Honor the treaties protecting Indigenous lands, waters, and sovereignty by the immediate halt of all construction, leasing and permitting for resource extraction, processing and infrastructure projects affecting or on Indigenous lands
· Recognize the Rights of Nature into law to protect our sacred ecosystems and align human law with natural law to ban resource extraction in defense of our environment and people
· A transition that invests in prosperity for communities on the frontlines of poverty and pollution
· Welcoming those displaced by the cumulative effects of the climate crisis, economic inequality, violence, and lack of opportunity
PROTECTION AND RESTORATION OF BIODIVERSITY
· Protection and restoration of at least 30% of the world’s lands and oceans including a halt to all deforestation by 2030
IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
· Investment in farmers and regenerative agriculture and an end to subsidies for industrial agriculture.