Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen arrested during protest over Julian Assange case

The 72-year-old activist had tweeted that he was willing to ‘risk arrest’ the day before the demonstration

Kelly Rissman
Friday 07 July 2023 19:59 BST
Ben & Jerry’s Calls for Indigenous Land to Be Returned in 4th of July Message

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Ben Cohen, the 72-year-old activist and co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, was arrested after blocking the Department of Justice entrance during a protest against the US government’s prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Mr Cohen was arrested in Washington DC on Thursday, one day after tweeting that he would be participating in the protest and was willing to “risk arrest” in order to “protest the criminalisation of the free press and the prosecution” of the WikiLeaks publisher.

“Right now, unless things change, and unless we change them, freedom of press is going up in smoke,” Mr Cohen said during the demonstration, before setting aflame a document propped up on an easel, which read “freedom of the press.”

Mr Cohen sat outside the building entrance next to Jodie Evans, co-founder of the social justice charity CodePink, until Homeland Security officials handcuffed them.

This isn’t the first report related to the ice cream brand that made headlines this week. Ben & Jerry’s came under fire after putting out a 4 July message calling for the US to return “stolen indigenous land,” starting with Mount Rushmore.

Mr Assange faces an 18-count indictment from the DOJ. He faces 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse after WikiLeaks allegedly published classified documents in 2010.

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