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Jane Fonda in prison: the actress confides in her arrest

She will stop at nothing! While actively campaigning for the protection of the environment, Jane Fonda was arrested five times at the end of 2019. In her new book, What Can I Do? : My Path from Climate Despair to Action, the star wanted to tell about the night she was arrested during a rally. Although the experience was disturbing, she writes that being “white and famous” resulted in very different treatment of her. Taken to a cell block, she was first asked if she had ever been sexually abused while incarcerated. Jane Fonda recalls: “I said no. There were posters everywhere, it seemed, asking if you had ever been sexually abused while in jail and if so to call a helpline. . I didn’t remember seeing such things the last time I was in prison in the 1970s and I found it scary. ”

It became more frightening, however, when the 82-year-old actress was put in a cell: “I was locked in a cell alone with a female guard posted out all night to protect me … From whom, I wondered. . ” Throughout the night, a man from another cell ‘moaned’ and the guards made noise as they walked down the aisle. Jane Fonda then thought of asking everyone to be quiet so she could sleep, but she didn’t: “I was more than aware that I was being treated differently because I was white and famous. A cell all to myself, juice when I wanted it, a guard. ” The star added: “I had heard the week before how when courageous Greenpeace protesters were arrested hanging from an oil rig at a site in Houston, Texas, men and women of color were severely abused. My friend Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, told me horrific stories about how her brother, who suffers from schizophrenia, was brutalized in prison in Los Angeles. ”

“Too many people suffer from the effects of racism and poverty”

The next morning of her arrest, Jane Fonda was taken to another holding cell, which she shared with four black women. She writes in her book that they were shocked to learn that she really wanted to be there. The actress was also moved by understanding that these women should not be there: “They needed care for their mental health, decent jobs, not to be victims of abuse and a community that supports them. ” The star added, “One of the women was shaking and I lent her my coat. As she wrapped it around her, she straightened up, held her head up high and I could see how she was beautiful. If her life had been easier, she could have been a model. ”

Finally, it was at the beginning of the afternoon that the actress was released from prison. Returning home, the latter has not forgotten the women she has met and her experience in the cell. In her book, Jane Fonda laments: “Too many people suffer from the effects of racism and poverty. Can we one day make our country do better in terms of social services and appropriate mental health care? It’s worth fighting for. I couldn’t help but think that all of these problems will only exacerbate as the climate emergency worsens – jobs, healthcare and services will be affected. ”

Jane Fonda © Agency

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