Actress and environmental activist Jane Fonda used May Day to renew calls to end fossil fuels and protect worker rights while she urged against corporate bailouts during the coronavirus pandemic, especially for oil and drilling companies.
Instead, the actress is demanding that the government allot recovery money to green or sustainable energy as well as to efforts to create a “level playing field” for workers.
“These historic sums of stimulus money aren’t going to happen again, maybe even during our lifetimes. And where they go and how they are spent will determine so much about what kind of future we have,” Fonda said Friday during her monthly “Fire Drill Friday” climate change rally, which was held online.
“So while we insist on more funding to heal the effects of this pandemic, we must also insist that the money is used to lay the foundation for a clean, sustainable energy future as well as justice and dignity and a level playing field for all workers.”
For months, during her rallies in Washington D.C., and Los Angeles, Jane Fonda and her fellow activists have been pushing for a “just transition” — their call for the protection of workers whose jobs will be impacted by the the move away from fossil fuels.
On Friday, the two-time Oscar-winning actress was joined virtually by labor activist Dolores Huerta, as well as union leaders representing migrant farmworkers, healthcare workers, and flight attendants.
Fonda began the virtual rally by accusing President Donald Trump of stiffing ordinary Americans during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, saying that his administration is trying “to ram through bail outs for the already privileged and the powerful.”
She then praised Democrats who, she claims, “have fought to include financial aid for workers and small businesses, hospitals… but more, much more needs to be done.”
In reality, Congressional Democrats recently blocked aid for small businesses — a Republican-backed measure that would have created $250 billion in coronavirus-related small-business loans.
Fonda also used the virtual rally to renew her assault on oil and drilling companies and their leaders.
“We have to say ‘no’ to bailouts for corporate executives and oil billionaires and ‘yes’ to immediately protecting the most vulnerable among us,” she said. “Fossil fuel executives don’t give a fuzzy rat’s ass about workers or communities’ well being.”
Fonda also demanded free COVID-19 testing and free medical care for workers diagnosed with the disease.
“Now’s the time to invest in economic relief and stimulus measures that put all workers and families first, not big corporations.”