Ben Cohen, a co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, was arrested Saturday afternoon for violating Burlington, Vermont’s noise ordinances during a protest against Vermont National Guard F-35 fighter jets set to come to Burlington International Airport in 2019.
According to the Burlington Free Press, Cohen was one of three people arrested for disorderly conduct after they mounted speakers on the back of a pickup truck and blasted a simulation of aircrafts taking off.
The truck was covered in signs that read, "DANGER: F-35 BLAST DEMO" and "HELP STOP THIS," and residents reportedly emerged from their homes to complain about the noise, which the VTDigger described as "deafening."
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— Caleigh Cross (@CaleighCross) March 3, 2018
"We want to apologize for the discomfort that people experienced as a result of this demonstration," Cohen said. "This was a one-time experiment for them [Burlington residents], but for people in the zone, they will be hearing this for six minutes, eight times a day, five days a week for the next 50 years."
This "noise zone" includes a total of 6,600 residents in Winooski and South Burlington, reported the VTDigger.
According to the Associated Press, the Vermont National Guard has invested millions of dollars preparing for the F-35s' arrival. However, voters will reportedly have a say on whether or not city officials should oppose the aircrafts coming to Burlington International Airport during Town Meeting Day on March 6.
"We proved our point, you can’t have it both ways," Cohen tweeted Monday morning. "If the sound is illegal — if you’re going to arrest us for it — they should arrest the Burlington City Council that is inflicting this noise on 6,600 people."
We proved our point, you can’t have it both ways. If the sound is illegal — if you’re going to arrest us for it — they should arrest the Burlington City Council that is inflicting this noise on 6,600 people. @vtdigger https://t.co/Xc2DqWnfz5— Ben Cohen (@YoBenCohen) March 5, 2018
Cohen and the two other activists, Ray Gonda and Richard Joseph, were each fined $1,200 and are reportedly due in court on March 29 to address their charges.