Democracy Spring Update: Ben and Jerry Arrested (Seriously)

The beloved ice cream ambassadors were charged with “crowding, obstructing or incommoding”

Image courtesy of The Boston Globe

As the arrest toll climbs past 1,200 at the Democracy Spring protests in Washington D.C., two more notables can be added to the list alongside Rosario Dawson: Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, better known as Ben & Jerry of the eponymous ice cream company. Actress Kathleen Turner also attended the Spring awakening, but has not — so far — been arrested.

Oddly enough, it seems like this arrest was a tipping point for major media outlets to get interested in the demonstration. Time, USA Today, The Hill, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe all have new stories today about the non-violent protest that’s been going on for a week on the steps of the Capitol building. The Post even referred to Cohen and Greenfield as “ice cream barons,” which sounds very sinister for a two guys that sling ice cream flavors like “Cherry Garcia” and “Chunky Monkey.”

In a post on the official Ben & Jerry’s website called “Why Ben and Jerry Just Got Arrested” the company gave an official statement on the need for a better democracy, saying that “We all have a role to play in the fight for justice. Join us this year as we spread the word and take action. Democracy belongs in the hands of all Americans, not in the pockets of a few billionaires. And no citizen who wants to vote should ever be kept from the polls. Democracy Awakening inspired hope and created excitement that all participants will carry back home with them to their own communities.

This is how real change happens.”

The men, like Dawson and the hundreds of others that have been arrested so far, have been processed and released.

via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coats from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken in their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The interment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

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via Michael Belanger / Flickr

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