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There is a cruel irony when people line up for a free ice cream cone on the annual Free Cone Day at the same time as Palestians line up for hours under humiliating conditions to go though checkpoints set up by the Israeli military in occupied territory.
Meanwhile, settlers can enjoy their Ben & Jerry's ice cream delivered to their illegal Jewish-only settlements by trucks with Jewish-only license plates that allow them to pass effortlessly along segregated Jewish-only roads.
Since 2013, people across the US have protested at Free Cone events by picketing, passing out leaflets and holding signs like
"Your Ice Cream is Free, but Palestinian People are not! "
Free Cone Day Actions - April 14th 2015
For the third consecutive year, volunteers engaged with people waiting in line at Ben & Jerry's "Free Cone Day " and handed out leaflets.
Here's a report of actions at 18 scoop shop locations in 7 different States. Thousands of leaflets were distributed, and many people in line were surprised to learn about the occupation and our campaign and eager to find out more. This event is an ideal opportunity to let people know about the illegal occupation of Palestine and the oppression of Palestinians, and the illegal Jewish-only settlements where Ben & Jerry's ice cream is being sold, thus helping to 'normalize' the occupation.
And here is a link to the Cantastoria, performed for waiting Free Cone devotees at the 'Flagship' Scoop Shop in Burlington, VT.
Leafleting at "Free Cone Day" April 8th, 2014Dozens of volunteers took part in Free Cone Day leafleting at 26 Ben & Jerry's locations across the US.
Yes - 26 locations from New Hampshire and New York to Oregon and California!
Click here for the Free Cone Day 2014 Report
It was a huge success - and a huge number of people made it happen! It’s clear that Ben & Jerry's is getting the message.
Also – this has been a great way to bring the message of Freedom for Palestine to people who are not aware of the situation and the injustices.
Many local and national organizations enthusiastically joined the actions and publicised the events. Special mention to Jewish Voice for Peace and The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Take a look at photos of several of the actions.
Also, over 350 people sent a special Free Cone Day email message to Ben & Jerry's CEO, and others phoned in to the corporate headquarters.
(This in addition to over 1600 who have emailed over the past year)
Let's hope that next year we have a more positive message to publicise on Free Cone Day!
“Free Cone Day” Action Spreads Across the US on April 9, 2013
“Today your cone is free.
Palestine is not.”
Volunteers and activists distributed leaflets to people waiting in line for free cones at three Ben & Jerry’s locations in Burlington, VT, at Ben & Jerry’s Vermont corporate headquarters, and at Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops in Mount Kisco, NY, New York City, Greenbrae, CA, and Berkeley, CA. In Burlington, the action was reported by local television news stations. See Mondoweiss: Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day is Greeted by Free Palestine Demos and Free Cone Day details at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. See photos from the “Free Cone Day” actions!
Ben & Jerry's also offers free ice cream at many special events, supporting actions and activities that we probably also believe in passionately.
However, Free Cone Day is entirely a self-serving stunt by Ben & Jerrys. Similarly, they often show up at other events where you may have no problem 'highjacking' their publicity.
Go for it!
When you hear of a free cone event, show up and protest!
Let us know if we can help. We have leaflets you can download and print.
The annual Free Cone Day is uually the second Tuesday in April - Plan ahead!
Let us know how it goes.