- - Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hollywood celebrities and Standing Rock activists were honored in Los Angeles Wednesday at sustainability advocate Global Green’s 14th annual Pre-Oscar Gala. Held at the new TAO restaurant and nightclub in Los Angeles, the event recognized those who have worked on behalf of the environment and other progressive causes — raising thousands of dollars for its initiatives in the process.

“We are at an existential crossroads right now,” said an impassioned Jane Fonda during her speech, discussing her recent experiences advocating for the American Indian tribes attempting to block the Dakota Access Pipeline through their sacred grounds in North Dakota.

“We don’t have a lot of time,” the Oscar-winner said. “There is going to be a tipping point beyond which the planet and the climate won’t be able to heal.”

Law enforcement has moved in to Standing Rock, the site of the protest, after President Trump signed an executive order to push through the much-disputed oil pipeline, forcing many environmentalists and tribal members to vacate the area.

“The spirit of Standing Rock is now going out all around the country,” Miss Fonda said. “All the places where the extractors are trying to rape the earth.

“The way the predator in chief (President Trump) feels about women is how these extractors feel about the earth: ‘Who cares?’” she said.

Along with Miss Fonda, actors Jeff Bridges and Orlando Bloom, director Oliver Stone and Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council Chairman David Archambault II were among the honorees.

On the “green” carpet, Mr. Bridges spoke with The Washington Times about his passion for the event and his friend Dianna Cohen, CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance of organizations working to eliminate “the toxic impact of plastic.”

Mr. Bridges said people can get involved by doing something as simple as getting rid of plastic bottles.

“They are not only toxic, they are made with oil, so that affects climate change as well,” he said. “Dianna is the one who turned me on to the reality of plastic.

“We all want this earth to be free of toxicity.”

Much like his beloved character The Dude from “The Big Lebowski,” Mr. Bridges has a rather zen perspective on the environment.

“We all want to live in a beautiful world. My opinion is that we are all connected,” the Oscar-winner, who is up for another statuette Sunday for his supporting turn in “Hell or Highwater,” said.

Mr. Bridges, who has been married to his wife Susan for nearly 40 years, likened his marriage to the way he would like to see people relate to the planet.

“I have such joy making my wife happy, and she feels the same. It’s the same with … being related to the planet and the world,” he said. “It’s almost like marrying the planet.”


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