Occupy Wall Street and its satellite movements have their first show of corporate support: Ben and Jerry's, the Vermont-based ice cream purveyor and a subsidiary of the Unilever corporation, posted a statement of solidarity on their website.
Beneath an illustration of a cow holding a sign that says, "Occupy," it reads:
To those who Occupy: We stand with you.
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.
The statement goes on to identify the members of its board, link to company positions on key issues, and list its various activist campaigns and pet lobbying causes. But despite all the repeated promises to "demonstrate our support," no specific pledges of air-dropping entire pallets of ice cream onto hot, hungry, Schweddy-balled protesters were specifically made.
Still, the seal has been broken. Who will be the next corporation to side with the 99 percent? [benjerry.com]