WASHINGTON — Actress Jane Fonda, along with Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, led a climate action protest dedicated to calling on lawmakers to cut the defense budget and apply the savings to a Green New Deal to combat climate change.
“We are now spending over half of the federal government’s annual discretionary budget on the military when the biggest threat to U.S. national security is not Iran or China, but the climate crisis. We could cut the Pentagon’s current budget in half and still be left with a bigger military budget than China, Russia, Iran and North Korea combined. The $350 billion savings could then be funneled into the Green New Deal and ensuring a just transition for fossil fuel workers and communities,” read a Facebook post announcing Friday’s protest.
The organizers of the protest argued that “just one percent of the 2019 military budget of $716 billion would be enough to fund 128,879 green infrastructure jobs instead, and it would take just 11 percent — or $80 billion — to produce enough wind and solar energy to power every household in the United States.”
During the protest, Cohen said the next president could “unite the world against a common enemy, which is climate change, instead of wasting all of our resources on killing each other.”
As the participants marched in the streets toward the White House, some protestors locked hands to build a human wall to block the media from asking Fonda questions. Police blocked off streets as the protest moved toward the White House.
The protest marked Fonda’s fifth demonstration on a Friday in the district but it did not result in an arrest, despite activists marching through the streets without a permit. Celebrity guests like Ted Danson and Sam Waterston have been arrested at previous protests in Washington with Fonda, who has been arrested four times in Washington.