Famous ice-cream makers Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were arrested today at the Democracy Awakening protests in Washington D.C. with 300 others yesterday. The Vermont-based founders of “Ben & Jerry’s” were showing their support for progressive politics and making a statement demanding that we rid our politics of the corrupting influence of money and restore the Voting Rights Act.
Recognizing that at this point, voters don’t have very much of a say in our political system, the two joined ongoing protests to demand comprehensive action on climate change, racial justice, workers’ rights, fair & equal pay, access to safe food and water, affordable health care, a peaceful foreign policy, immigration reform and improvements to our education system. They welcomed getting arrested, as one might gather from Mr. Cohen, who can be seen bouncing up and down in the video. “The history of our country is that nothing happens, until people start putting their bodies on the line and risk getting arrested” he said.
While the protests aren’t affiliated with any one party or candidate, Mr. Cohen has been extremely vocal about his support for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, even having created an ice cream to honor the candidate called “Bernie’s Yearning.” The Sanders ice cream would be mint flavored and topped with a giant chocolate chip that “represents all the wealth that’s gone to the top 1% of the population over the past 10 years. And the way you eat it is that you whack it with your spoon, then you mix it around. That’s the ‘Bernie’s Yearning'” said Cohen.
Numerous other celebrities have joined the protesters and have been promptly arrested with them, including actress Rosario Dawson and Harvard law professor, Lawrence Lessig. We must work to raise awareness of these protests and convince the American people to take a stand against the oligarchs that manipulate the strings of their establishment puppets, repressing the rights of the American voter and poisoning our democracy with the corruption of dark money.
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Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.