Ben Cohen (co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream) and Jodie Evans (co-founder of anti-war group Codepink) were arrested Thursday afternoon by Homeland Security officers as they sat in front of the Department of Justice Headquarters in Washington DC to protest for the release of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Cohen began the demonstration by setting fire to a copy of the Bill of Rights to say that “freedom of the press is going up in smoke.”

He then went to the DOJ entrance, demanded a meeting with Merrick Garland, sat down, and refused to leave. Codepink activists released a colored smoke canister to symbolize press freedom being “up in smoke” as Cohen continued to sit in front of the entrance.

A DHS officer kicked it around and then issued a first warning as Evans joined the sit-in.


Before he was arrested, News2Share asked Cohen why he was willing to be arrested for Julian Assange. He says Assange has been in solitary for four years “because of his efforts to let me know what my government is doing in my name and with my money.”

“If Julian can be there for four years – which is torture – I can be willing to go to jail to support him and to support our right to freedom of the press which has gone up in smoke.”