Ben Cohen, liberal activist and co-founder of the ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, found himself in handcuffs on Thursday during a demonstration in Washington, D.C.

According to the New York Post, Cohen sat outside the Department of Justice alongside the co-founder of the feminist group CODEPINK in protest of the U.S. government’s prosecution of Julian Assange, the publisher of Wikileaks.

Cohen and Jodie Evans sat on the ground in the pouring rain for nearly an hour.

In a further display of dissent, Cohen set ablaze a sign that read “Freedom of the Press,” arguing that Assange’s legal ordeal undermines that First Amendment right.

“There’s no democracy without freedom of the press because the press is the only thing that can hold government accountable,” Cohen said. “And there’s no freedom of the press as long as Assange is being prosecuted.”

Video footage captured the moment when Cohen and Evans were arrested for obstructing the entrance to the DOJ build ing.


The protesters were released after three hours in police custody, with Cohen promptly taking to Twitter to urge President Joe Biden to drop the charges against Assange.

Assange, currently detained in a high-security prison in London, awaits extradition to the U.S. on 18 charges, including alleged violations of the Espionage Act.

The charges stem from Wikileaks’ publication of classified documents related to the Iraq War and Guantanamo Bay in 2010 and 2011. If convicted, Assange could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Cohen and the ice cream brand he co-founded have been known to participate in stunts and protests to promote liberal causes.

On Independence Day this week, Ben & Jerry’s posted a tweet declaring that the U.S. exists on “stolen Indigenous land” and calling for that land to be “returned.”

The stock price of its parent company Unilever subsequently dropped and has yet to recover three days later.

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