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Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder Burns Bill of Rights In Rally For Assange

Ben Cohen, a liberal activist and co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, burned a copy of the Bill of Rights outside the Department of Justice on Thursday in protest of the treatment and incarceration of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange, a 52-year-old Australian, is in custody in a maximum-security prison in London awaiting extradition to the United States. He is facing an 18-count federal indictment for publishing thousands of classified documents and diplomatic cables in 2010 and 2011 related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Obama administration declined to prosecute Assange because it said his actions were no different than a journalist who publishes such information. But Assange was indicted under the Trump administration in 2019, and the Biden administration has not derailed the effort to prosecute him.

“Anything he ever published was the truth,” Cohen said, according to the Washington Examiner. “And the truth revealed war crimes and government lies to the U.S. Congress and to the people.

“Trump, in his war on journalism, shattered precedent and indicted a publisher for publishing the truth.”

Cohen, who resigned as CEO of Ben & Jerry’s in 1996, and Jodie Evans, co-founder of CODEPINK, a feminist grassroots organization, were later arrested by Homeland Security police after blocking an entrance to the DOJ building, according to WJLA-TV.

“Here’s the thing, there’s no democracy without freedom of the press because the press is the only thing that can hold government accountable,” Cohen said in a video posted on CODEPINK’s Twitter account, which showed him burning a copy of the Bill of Rights. “There’s no freedom of the press as long as Assange is being prosecuted.”

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