After last month’s launch of the iconic Fire Drill Fridays protests in Los Angeles, Jane Fonda and Greenpeace USA are bringing Fire Drill Fridays to Wilmington, California, a community at the very heart of the climate crisis.
On March 6th at 11AM PST, Fonda, Greenpeace, and members of Last Chance Alliance — who represent over 700 environmental, health, justice, faith, labor, community, parent, and consumer organizations— will converge in Wilmington, California at San Pedro City Hall to send a loud and clear message that the health of communities and the climate are far more important than the fossil fuel industry. Once again, Fonda will be joined by friends, actors, activists, youth, Indigenous leaders, climate experts, and Wilmington residents who will show how the fossil fuel industry has impacted their lives.
“California politicians are letting the oil industry ruin lives in places like Wilmington right now, and they’re giving the same industry free reign to lock future generations into climate catastrophe,” Jane Fonda said. "This is the crisis right here in California, and it’s only going to get worse if people aren’t empowered to demand change from politicians who don’t seem to get it. Oil refineries and wells where people live and work mean people are sick and dying of cancer, asthma, heart disease. And people are sick and tired of politicians giving free reign to the industry that is simultaneously creating climate catastrophe.
“Last month in LA, we kicked off this next phase of Fire Drill Fridays with hundreds of celebrities and activists marching arm in arm in solidarity with so many impacted communities to demand change. That’s what we’re doing on March 6th in Wilmington, and what we’ll keep doing every Fire Drill Friday until this crisis ends.”
In Washington D.C., Fire Drill Fridays reached millions of people through weekly rallies and marches through the capitol’s streets, star-studded arrests at the Hart Senate Building, and live-streamed teach-ins from the Greenpeace USA headquarters. Last month, over a thousand people gathered at Los Angeles City Hall for the first Fire Drill Fridays rally in California, including Joaquin Phoenix, Norman Lear, Rooney and Kate Mara, Rainn Wilson, Cesar Aguirre, Nalleli Cobo, and many others. After the rally, the crowd marched to Maverick Natural Resources, which operates a large number of oil and gas wells in Southern California and the Central Valley. Activists occupied the lobby of the building to demand Governor Newsom and California leaders adopt a Green New Deal, end new fossil fuels, and begin a just transition to a renewable energy economy.
While Fonda shoots the final season of Grace and Frankie over the next six months, Greenpeace is working with Last Chance Alliance to lead Fire Drill Fridays around California, including different cities and at the sites of oil and gas operations like Wilmington. The state faces climate emergencies regularly and is well-primed to lead the country — and the world — in real climate solutions. In tandem with a nationwide series of events across different cities that will be rolled out in the coming months, California’s Fire Drill Fridays will build off of the movement’s momentum to call for a Green New Deal, an end to new fossil fuels, and a just transition to a renewable energy economy.
“Wilmington, California is a prime example of why Governor Newsom must prioritize the health and safety of Californians over the profits of fossil fuel companies,” Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard said. “In Wilmington right now, the fossil fuel industry is putting families at risk with its toxic drilling practices — and it’s putting the world at risk by locking in the worst effects of climate change. The only thing that can solve the climate crisis is people empowered to demand change. That’s what we’ve been doing every Fire Drill Friday, and that’s what we’ll be doing in Wilmington next week, and what we’ll keep doing until this crisis ends. We don’t have time to wait.”