Ben & Jerry's Ben Cohen Arrested For Protesting Fighter Planes

The ice cream founder was blasting jet sounds from a pile of speakers mounted on a pickup truck. 

By Gina Tron

Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, was arrested on Saturday in Burlington, Vermont as he held a public demonstration over F-35 fighter planes. On Tuesday, voters in that city will get to choose whether or not they think city officials should oppose basing fighter planes nearby.

Cohen and other activists protested by blasting jet sounds from a pile of speakers mounted on a pickup truck. The sounds were played at the approximate level that would mimic living under an actual flight path, according to CBS News. Cohen and two others were arrested for disorderly conduct and for violating the city’s noise ordinances, according to the Burlington Free Press.

“We proved our point, you can’t have it both ways. If the sound is illegal — if you’re going to arrest us for it — they should arrest the Burlington City Council that is inflicting this noise on 6,600 people,” Cohen tweeted out on Monday.

Cohen tweeted out before his arrest, “Burlington Police are planning to arrest me today at 3:15p for a public service demonstration of the F-35 Jetblast, if you're in Burlington, VT, go to City Hall to show your support.”

The ice cream mogul defended the point he was trying to make by playing jet noise.

“If it’s legal for the F-35 to make this noise 16 times per day, 52 wks a yr, for the next 50 yrs, it should b legal for us to do this limited demonstration of extreme jet blasts which are the subject of Item #6 on the March ballot.”

[Photo: Getty Images]

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