Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is scooping out support for the Occupy Wall Street protests currently taking place in New York and other cities around the country.
In a statement, the company praised the non-violent protests against the American financial system and said it had the deepest admiration for the movement, which started 23 days ago.
Throughout the company's history, Ben and Jerry’s has not been shy about vocalizing its opinions. The company's Web site has a special page on activism that highlight's Ben and Jerry’s commitment to issues such as a living wage and fair trade, and the ice cream shop's mission statement is devoted to making a socially and environmentally conscious product.
Founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are also active protestors, and were arrested during a demonstration against the genocide in Darfur in 2004.
There is no word on whether or not Ben and Jerry’s will provide ice cream to the Occupy protestors now living in Washington Square Park, but it wouldn't be unlikely. The company gave a 900 pound Baked Alaska to a protest outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington in 2005.
Ben and Jerry’s board of directors issued the following statement on Monday, along with the image of one of company's signature cows holding a sign reading occupy.
To those who Occupy: We stand with you
We, the Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors, compelled by our personal convictions and our Company’s mission and values, wish to express our deepest admiration to all of you who have initiated the non-violent Occupy Wall Street Movement and to those around the country who have joined in solidarity. The issues raised are of fundamental importance to all of us. These include:
- The inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral.
-We are in an unemployment crisis. Almost 14 million people are unemployed. Nearly 20% of African American men are unemployed. Over 25% of our nation’s youth are unemployed.
- Many workers who have jobs have to work 2 or 3 of them just to scrape by.
- Higher education is almost impossible to obtain without going deeply in debt.
- Corporations are permitted to spend unlimited resources to influence elections while stockpiling a trillion dollars rather than hiring people.
We know the media will either ignore you or frame the issue as to who may be getting pepper sprayed rather than addressing the despair and hardships borne by so many, or accurately conveying what this movement is about. All this goes on while corporate profits continue to soar and millionaires whine about paying a bit more in taxes. And we have not even mentioned the environment.
We know that words are relatively easy but we wanted to act quickly to demonstrate our support. As a board and as a company we have actively been involved with these issues for years but your efforts have put them out front in a way we have not been able to do. We have provided support to citizens’ efforts to rein in corporate money in politics, we pay a livable wage to our employees, we directly support family farms and we are working to source fairly traded ingredients for all our products. But we realize that Occupy Wall Street is calling for systemic change. We support this call to action and are honored to join you in this call to take back our nation and democracy.