Catholic actor Martin Sheen was one of the celebrities arrested at a climate protest in Washington on 10 January organised by actress Jane Fonda. Another was 'Joker' actor Joaquin Phoenix.
Sheen, 79, who played US President Jed Bartlet in hit drama 'The West Wing', addressed the crowds, saying: "We are called to find something in our lives worth fighting for ... something that can lift up this nation and all its people to that place, where the heart is without fear and the head is held high, where knowledge is free."
Sheen has spoken often of his commitment to non-violence and civil disobedience that has involved more than 80 arrests. He has opposed nuclear weapons and war, and embraced numerous causes, including the rights of farm workers, saving the oceans, youth empowerment and immigration. He has supported Church groups and individuals that focus on Justice and Peace - such as the Catholic Worker Movement and the Preda Foundation in the Philippines, founded by Columban priest Fr Shay Cullen.
Like the peace and social justice causes he has supported all his life, Sheen sees climate change as a natural extension of that work. "To deny climate change is to lead a dishonest life", he said in Washington, "so that the bottom line is we are called to witness, and that's what this is".
Sheen, Phoenix and Fonda are calling on Congress to create more jobs in the renewable energy sector and end all new fossil fuel exploration and extraction.
Martin Sheen speaking at the Washington Climate Change Rally on 10 January 2020:
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