The co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream were arrested Monday at the U.S. Capitol as part of the Democracy Awakening rally, a protest against big money in politics and other liberal causes.
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were arrested for unlawfully demonstrating, along with about 300 other protestors on the Capitol steps, reports CNN. In a post on the Ben & Jerry website, the business duo highlighted liberalized campaign finance laws and a string of voter identification laws as the main drivers behind their decision to participate in the Democracy Awakening protests.
Police processed the 300 protesters and released them on scene.
“Democracy is supposed to be for all of us, but right now we have an out-of-balance system favoring the interests of big money,” Cohen said in a Democracy Awakening statement. “This can’t go on. I’m prepared to risk arrest to send a message that democracy should truly be of, by, and for the people.”
Cohen and Greenfield also visited George Washington University Monday to meet with students and hold a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. They’re expected to appear on the stump for Sanders Tuesday at a rally in Delaware, where they’ll hand out free ice cream to attendees. Ben & Jerry’s gave Sanders his own flavor of ice cream in February called “Bernie’s yearning.”
Hundreds of protesters have been arrested in the past week by Capitol police for organizing sit-ins in restricted areas around the building during the Democracy Spring rally. The rally organizers say between Monday’s arrests and the ones during Democracy Spring, they have set a record for civil disobedience on the issue of democracy.
“At a certain point, you have to say enough is enough,” Greenfield said in the press release. “I have decided to risk arrest because we can’t continue to have a political system where ordinary people are shut out of the process. It’s not what our founders envisioned, and it’s not what democracy is supposed to be about.”
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