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.
We know the media will either ignore you or frame the issue as to who may be getting pepper sprayed rather than addressing the despair and hardships borne by so many, or accurately conveying what this movement is about. All this goes on while corporate profits continue to soar and millionaires whine about paying a bit more in taxes. And we have not even mentioned the environment.
We know that words are relatively easy but we wanted to act quickly to demonstrate our support. As a board and as a company we have actively been involved with these issues for years but your efforts have put them out front in a way we have not been able to do. We have provided support to citizens’ efforts to rein in corporate money in politics, we pay a livable wage to our employees, we directly support family farms and we are working to source fairly traded ingredients for all our products. But we realize that Occupy Wall Street is calling for systemic change. We support this call to action and are honored to join you in this call to take back our nation and democracy.
As far as I can see, the Occupy movement is just ordinary people reclaiming rights which should always have been theirs. I can’t think of any reason why as a population we should be expected to stand by and see a gross reduction in the living standards of ourselves and our kids, possibly for generations, when the people who have got us into this have been rewarded for it.
It’s a completely justified howl of moral outrage and it seems to be handled in a very intelligent, non-violent way, which is probably another reason why Frank Miller would be less than pleased with it/ I’m sure if it had been a bunch of young, sociopathic vigilantes with Batman make-up on their faces, he’d be more in favor of it. We would definitely have to agree to differ on that one.
I am 19 years old. I graduated from high school with almost a straight A average. I was set to go to college to become a literature teacher. My dreams seemed so real at the time. After my mother found out about my religious beliefs I was forced to leave home. I started college in the fall of 2011 wile living with my cousins. I was working as a waitress making $2.14 an hour. The tips that I made were enough to get me back and forth to work in gas. Until my car gave out. I had to scrap it for money. My financial aid at the college ran into a snag that I still do not understand. No one would help me. I was told to “check my account online” that was all the advice they could give me. I had no way back and forth to college anymore. I am now living with my cousins and my aunt with no car, not money, and no school. No one in the house has a job. My cousin has been denied disability after working as a welder for years. He can not even kneel to put his knees on the floor. We live off of food stamps and pawning any valuables that we have. But the valuables are running out. Food stamps can not [ay for Christmas dinner plus food for the rest of the days of the month. My family went 4 days without eating last month because we were determined to have an okay Christmas dinner. I have a job interview at McDonald’s on the 30th where I will be making min wage and getting paid every 2 weeks. My cousins will take me back and forth to work. $20 a day for me in gas. I will be the only one working in a house of 5. I owe the college $800.