WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ben Cohen is the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. He was arrested Thursday in front of the Department of Justice (DOJ) during a protest against the detainment of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange.
Cohen was taken into custody in Washington, D.C. by members of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for blocking an entrance to DOJ. He was seen in pictures from the protest sitting in front of one of the entrances before he was handcuffed and taken away, reported the Daily Wire.
As Cohen was loaded into a police unit, he told reporters, “I’m protesting Julian Assange’s treatment. He published the truth, and so he’s been in solitary confinement for four years, and it’s an abomination, and it’s a violation of freedom of the press.”
Assange has been confined in HM Prison Belmarsh in London since April 2019, as the U.S. government’s extradition effort is contested in the British courts.
However, Assange is “dangerously close” to being extradited after losing his latest legal appeal, his family and observers of his long-running legal challenge say, The Guardian reported
Meanwhile, Ben & Jerry’s customers recently became infuriated by comments made by the company during 4th of July celebrations and called for a “Bud Light-style” boycott of the ice cream brand after it blasted the U.S. as existing “on stolen land.”
The company’s official Twitter account called on customers to commit to “returning” indigenous land and said they should “start with Mount Rushmore.”
Furious social media users expressed outrage at the timing of the acrimonious statement, which landed on Independence Day, reported Fox Business.
“This 4th of July, it’s high time we recognize that the US exists on stolen Indigenous land and commit to returning it,” Ben & Jerry’s wrote on its Twitter account.
Give ALL of your property and land back to the Native Americans right now then… or shut up.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) July 4, 2023
“Ah, the Fourth of July. Who doesn’t love a good parade, some tasty barbecue, and a stirring fireworks display?” the company wrote. “The only problem with all that, though, is that it can distract from an essential truth about this nation’s birth: The US was founded on stolen Indigenous land. This year, let’s commit to returning it. Here’s why we need to start with Mount Rushmore.”
The indignant backlash came in droves. According to Fox Business, one particular person replied, “I look forward to the virtue signaling Ben & Jerry’s returning their factory’s land to the Abenaki and Mohican Native Americans that have lived in Vermont for 10,000 years.”