Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder Ben Cohen Arrested for Protesting F-35 Fighter Jets

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Ben Cohen/Twitter

Burlington, Vermont police arrested Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen on Saturday after he repeatedly violated a local noise ordinance in a personal protest against the F-35 fighter jet.

Cohen, a supporter of Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign, attached several amplifiers to his car and drove through the city to simulate the sound of an F-35 fighter jet.

The protest began around 11 A.M. on Saturday and was cited numerous times before Cohen was arrested for violating the town’s noise ordinance.

Burlington Lieutenant Matthew Sullivan said, “Because it was the third violation it’s disorderly conduct by noise, so they were arrested, three protesters were arrested.”

Cohen tweeted on Saturday, “Getting ticketed. It’s either legal or it’s not, 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.”

Supporters of the protest argued that by arresting the demonstrators, the police proved their point about the dangers of excessive noise pollution.

James Leas, a Burlington resident, argued, “The city has just admitted that it’s illegal, harmful and dangerous. So now we have the city of Burlington acknowledging that by making these arrests.”

Burlington residents can vote on a non-binding resolution on Tuesday to ask the Air National Guard to move the F-35 fighter jet base out of the town.

The Vermont National Guard invested $83 million into storing the F-35 in Burlington. The Burlington airport has housed F-16 fighter jets for years; others argue that housing F-35 jets in Burlington will not cause any problems.

Lt. Col. Daniel Finnegan said this weekend, “When the first F-35 lands here in 18 months we intend to be fully trained and equipped to receive it.”

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