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“The inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral.”

IN WHAT COULD BE A WATERSHED MOMENT for this movement, a high-profile company has now stepped forward to formally support Occupy Wall Street. Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream has posted on their website:

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.

Up until now, formal support of the movement has included political leaders and unions, however, private companies have stayed out of it.

Ben & Jerry’s endorsement is accompanied by a transparent list of what they’ve spent money lobbying for (and against). Opposition to FDA support of genetically modified foods / food from cloned animals, support for United Nations Millennium Development goals: it’s pretty righteous.

Who will be the next company to support the 99%?

Occupy Wall Street


About The Author

David Miller

David Miller is Senior Editor of Matador (winner of 2010 and 2011 Lowell Thomas awards for travel journalism) and Director of Curricula at MatadorU. Follow him @dahveed_miller.

  • Tyler

    You realize Ben & Jerry’s sold out to multinational corporation Unilever, right? The same Unilever that has been accused of numerous environmental pollution scandals in places like Brazil, China, Indonesia, China, etc.. The same Unilever that is in the middle of a messy pension battle in the UK. The same Unilever that is believed to still test products on animals and engage in child labor. The same Unilever that reduced its global workforce by 41% from 2000-2008 and outsourced many to Asia.

    Hippie-pocrisy, thy name is Ben & Jerry’s.

    • david miller

      it’s all just ‘image management’ then re: ben and jerry’s.

      thanks for setting the record straight.

  • Mark John Hiemstra

    I was going to say exactly the same thing, Tyler. Seems like someone didn’t do the research before posting.

    • rossdborden

      No doubt that the marketing guys at Ben and Jerry’s are taking advantage here, but is the 99% against ALL big businesses? Any corp that turns a big profit is the enemy? Ben and Jerry’s is now owned by Unilever and according to Tyler down here, they are a big, bad corporation, but they didn’t get a bailout. They don’t gamble other people’s money in elaboriate derivatives schemes so they can make $10mm bonuses, and they didn’t bring our entire fucking economy to the brink of collapse. And they aren’t in bed with the US government. Those are the reasons we’re occupying Wall Street. 

      This is an important battle and it needs to remain focused. This is about Wall Street, not about bringing down all big companies who outsource jobs to Asia.

  • Ian MacKenzie“The ice-cream maker says the movement promotes many of the same issues that the firm has been involved with for years, adding that the protest has “put them out front in a way we have not been able to do”.It says it supports the call “for systemic change”.However, Ben and Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, is taking a less radical stance.A spokesman from the British-Dutch conglomerate told the BBC: “We maintain a neutral position with regard to social movements and will make no public statements about this particular campaign”.Simon Myers, from the branding consultancy Figtree network, says Unilever’s position is not a surprise.”What is interesting is whether people will make a connection between Unilever and Ben and Jerry’s and demand that they get off the fence,” he said.”This would be very uncomfortable for them. While they may want to be on the side of caring capitalism (the message from the top), this is different from supporting a movement that wants a radical break with the current consumption-led, low-tax agenda.”

  • chuck

    The main stream media is dissing the wall st. protests for not having a focus, not having a clear message. My understanding of the protest is that we, the american public are pissed at the whole corrupt system of corporations and the elite buying Congress, taking over the government, and buying our domestic and foreign policy for short term profits, while wrapping themselves in the american flag, clutching the cross and raping america and the world. Only embracing democracy when it fits into whatever Neo con agenda produces the best bottom line for the stockholders. How do you get that whole message into a sound byte or on a 24×36 inch sign. Meanwhile most of america seems to be glued to Fox Propaganda News, worried about smoke screen issues such as abortion, flag burning, off road vehicle rights and the UN taking over america in the middle of the night in black helicopters.
    But the world is watching. They are seeing that we are not all sheep.
    As for Unilever- try keeping your eyes on the big picture. A major company with name recognition has stepped forward and recognized the legitimacy of the frustration with the status quo in this country. This is what is really going on. Try not to get sidetracked on the smoke screen issues.

    I really do believe the Santa Clause story with the white hats and all of that. -chuck

  • Rachel Signer

    B & Js has been donating ice cream to Zuccotti Park all week. It’s great! 

  • Dennismarsch

    There is a parade forming and it’s obviously final battle. Reminds me of all the talk about dysfunctional family, show me just one functional family, just one.
    This battle is really against the demonic and they are being singled out. They’ve been caught with pants down and banana hanging out, with nobody coming to the rescue.
    The head of snake is Federal Reserve. The money creating power was stolen from the people and it needs to be returned.
    Government and courts not able to do anything. It’s time!

  • L_go1

    Shoe Polish!  That’s right.  If you support the 99% movement write 99% with shoe polish on your car windshield. 

I didn't agree with everything I heard and saw, but that's not the point.
You’ve begun squashing dissent within your ranks.
A couple hundred demonstrators still maintain homeless encampments throughout NYC.
In celebration of the global release of Occupy Love.
"The 1% need us, and the fish need us, and the forests need us."
Abuses of power by the police don't mean officers aren't sympathetic toward protesters.