Tag Archive: Cecily McMillan

Activist Cecily McMillan Released from Prison, Reads Statement From Women of Rikers Island

cecilyFrom The Dissenter

Cecily McMillan, a New York activist, who was sentenced to ninety days in prison for “felony assault of a police officer” after an incident at an Occupy Wall Street event, was released from prison. She delivered a statement to the press and took the opportunity to read a statement that she and the women of Rikers Island drafted together.

“Incarceration is meant to prevent crime,” McMillan asserted. “Its purpose is to penalize and then return us to the outside world ready to start anew. The world I saw at Rikers isn’t concerned with that. Many of the tactics employed are aimed at simple dehumanization.

“In the interests of returning the facility to its mission and restoring dignity to its inmates, we, the women of Rikers, have several demands that will make this system more functional. These were collectively drafted for me to read before you today.”

She said that the women of Rikers demand “adequate, safe and timely healthcare at all times,” including mental health care services. They also would like to not have to wait “up to 12 hours a day for a simple clinic visit” as well as the ability to request a female doctor “if desired.”

According to the women still imprisoned, there is a “special sense of urgency” to this demand: (more…)

Jury Nullification: Why Every American Needs to Learn This Taboo Verdict

juryFrom Care 2

Did you know that, no matter the evidence, if a jury feels a law is unjust, it is permitted to “nullify” the law rather than finding someone guilty? Basically, jury nullification is a jury’s way of saying, “By the letter of the law, the defendant is guilty, but we also disagree with that law, so we vote to not punish the accused.” Ultimately, the verdict serves as an acquittal.

Haven’t heard of jury nullification? Don’t feel bad; you’re far from alone. If anything, your unfamiliarity is by design. Generally, defense lawyers are not allowed to even mention jury nullification as a possibility during a trial because judges prefer juries to follow the general protocols rather than delivering independent verdicts.

Surprisingly, the Supreme Court has routinely agreed that judges have no obligation to inform juries about jury nullification. Paradoxically, jury nullification is permitted to exist as an option to all juries, yet this option cannot be discussed in most courtrooms.

A few years ago, Julian Heicklen handed out pamphlets to passersby on jury nullification to people outside of a federal courthouse. While the former professor was merely attempting to educate people about how the jury system works, he was charged with jury tampering. The prosecution labeled Heicklen “a significant and important threat to our judicial system,” but the judge ultimately disagreed and dismissed the case. Nonetheless, the fact that this case went to court at all shows how those in the legal system are willing to intimidate those who vocalize this loophole.

Jury nullification is undoubtedly feared because of its ability to upset the system. A jury that considers drug laws to be outrageous can nullify. A jury that is aware of the mass inequality in incarceration rates and believes a defendant was targeted via racial profiling can nullify. A jury that believes a harmless defendant is a victim of the prison industrial complex rather than a perpetrator can nullify. This counter-verdict exists so that citizens can right the wrongs inherent in our supposed “justice” system. (more…)

Occupy Wall Street Protester Cecily McMillan Sentenced To Three Months In Jail

Cecily McMillan outside courtHer current address is:

Cecily McMillan
Book & Case Number 3101400431
Rose M. Singer Center
19-19 Hazen Street
East Elmhurst, New York 11370

For up to date information and other ways to help, make sure to visit justiceforcecily.com

From Huffington Post

NEW YORK — A New York City judge sentenced Occupy Wall Street protester Cecily McMillan on Monday to three months in jail and five years of probation for elbowing a police officer while he was clearing out a protest in Zuccotti Park.

Judge Ronald Zweibel’s decision comes at the end of a trial that sparked widespread anger among Occupy supporters for the circumstances under which McMillan was convicted of second-degree assault. They said McMillan, a graduate student who’s now 25 years old, was simply reacting to an unknown hand grabbing her breast while visiting a March 2012 protest. Officer Grantley Bovell, not McMillan, they said, should have been on trial.

McMillan’s defense attorney, Martin Stolar, has already indicated that he will appeal McMillan’s conviction. McMillan’s supporters have raised about $14,000 for her defense online, and Zweibel’s sentence will likely add further urgency to that effort. (more…)

Cecily McMillan Found Guilty – Write to Her!

Cecily McMillan outside courtFrom NYC Anarchist Black Cross

On Monday, May 5th, Cecily McMillan was found guilty of assaulting a cop. That McMillan was merely reacting to an actual assault by the cop seemed irrelevant to the judge. She was immediately remanded and will be jailed until her sentencing date on May 19th.

Being unexpectedly jailed is terrifying and the first few days are understandably the most difficult. Help make this time more bearable by writing to Cecily to let her know folks on the outside have her back.

 Her current address is:

Cecily McMillan
Book & Case Number 3101400431
Rose M. Singer Center
19-19 Hazen Street
East Elmhurst, New York 11370

For up to date information and other ways to help, make sure to visit justiceforcecily.com

David Graeber: New Police Strategy in New York – Sexual Assault Against Peaceful Protestors

By David Graeber

A few weeks ago I was with a few companions from Occupy Wall Street in Union Square when an old friend — I’ll call her Eileen — passed through, her hand in a cast.

“What happened to you?” I asked.

“Oh, this?” she held it up. “I was in Liberty Park on the 17th [the Six Month Anniversary of the Occupation]. When the cops were pushing us out the park, one of them yanked at my breast.”

“Again?” someone said.

We had all been hearing stories like this. In fact, there had been continual reports of police officers groping women during the nightly evictions from Union Square itself over the previous two weeks.

“Yeah so I screamed at the guy, I said, ‘you grabbed my boob! what are you, some kind of fucking pervert?’ So they took me behind the lines and broke my wrists.” (more…)