WASHINGTON – Hot on the heels of the Cindy Sheehan media circus in Crawford comes word that Jane Fonda will ride again as an anti-war crusader, kicking off a nationwide barnstorming tour next month.
Fonda, still a lightning rod for Vietnam veterans because of her trips to North Vietnam more than 30 years ago, will accompany George Galloway, the radical member of the British Parliament, in a tour of the country to condemn the Iraq war.
“I’m really pleased and excited to be going back to America to campaign against this illegal war and occupation,” said Galloway. “And to have Jane Fonda join me is fantastic. I’ll be able to get that autograph at last. I’m sure that when the full implications of the constitutional settlement lashed-up by the puppet Iraqi government are understood that opposition will grow massively.”
The tour kicks off in Boston Sept. 13 and ends in a rally in Washington Sept. 24. The tour will also include stops in Chicago and Madison, Wis.
Galloway, who was expelled from the Labour Party for his harsh anti-war rhetoric, will also be hawking a new book, “Mr Galloway Goes To Washington.”
“People want to hear Jane Fonda and what she has to say about the war,” said tour organizer Chris Dols. “That’s worth hearing, and George Galloway has a lot to say about it, too.”
In an introductory speech in Madison for antiwar British politician and author George Galloway, actress Jane Fonda is making her first public statement against the occupation of Iraq.
The tour will travel in an environmentally friendly bio-diesel bus and will include Fonda’s family and the families of Iraq war veterans and casualties. Fonda said she decided to resume her anti-war activities at the urging of war veterans.
“I’ve decided I’m coming out,” she said. “I have not taken a stand on any war since Vietnam. I carry a lot of baggage from that.”
Fonda incited anger in July 1972 when she was photographed smiling while sitting atop a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun while on a tour of the country to drum up support to end the war.
When she returned, she told the press: “I would think that if you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would someday become communist.”
Some of her other famous, or infamous, quotes of the era:
- “The Viet Cong are driven by the same spirit that drove Washington and Jefferson.
- “The Viet Cong are the conscience of the world.”
She told British reporters in 1971 that U.S. atrocities included “applying electrodes to prisoners’ genitals, mass rapes, slicing off of body parts, scalping, skinning alive, and leaving ‘heat tablets’ around which burned the insides of children who ate them.”
She called on Canadians earlier this year to offer refuge to war resisters who refuse to fight in Iraq.
“I’d go, but I’ve got to be here,” she said.
Fonda, who earned the nickname Hanoi Jane in the 1970s, said while she regretted posing on the anti-aircraft battery, she did not regret her anti-war stance or her decision to go to North Vietnam, where she made radio broadcasts urging U.S. airmen to stop bombing.
“I’m proud I went to North Vietnam because Nixon was lying to us,” Fonda told the Canadian audience.