Update: The #Justice4Cecily legal team promises to fight for justice in the Court of Appeals in a powerful statement.
— Donithan (@trollshevikism) May 19, 2014
Yes, it could have been a hell of a lot worse, and I expected that Hangin’ Judge Zweibel would have given her the full seven years that was the maximum sentence that automatically came with her conviction of felony second-degree assault on a cop.
We won’t ever know what changed his seriously bad attitude toward McMillan. Was it the letter nine of the twelve jurors sent him, asking that she not go to prison at all once they discovered what their guilty verdict meant in terms of ‘punishment?’ Was it the many signatures on various petitions to him, DA Cyrus Vance, Gov Cuomo that helped a bit?
And according to more recent Tweets, she will have to undergo mental health counseling and treatment. Wot? Stay tuned, but is that because the prosecuting attorneys did their damnedest to paint her as a rabid ‘cop hater?’
Here’s a brief video recap of the events that led to this crazy day in an upside-down world.
— YourAnonLive (@YourAnonLive) May 14, 2014
Her attorneys had promised to appeal her conviction; will they now, or will she chose to serve the ninety days and then bring a civil suit against the NYPD and city of New York? Given the fact that she turned down the plea deal the DA had offered, since she would still have a felony on her record (but no prison time), my guess would be that they’ll pursue both options.
Security at the court house was tight, and there are apparently 45 cops outside the court house now. Supporters are across the street having an impromptu rally. Well, Justice4Cecily would be if Officer Brantley were in prison, and she’d never been charged with a crime.
No, Occupy is not dead; it was just forced underground due to the thousands of arrests, fines, and so very many Occupiers having been pummeled, stomped, pepper sprayed and assaulted by cops nationwide.
Cecily’s attorneys will be giving a press conference soon. OccupyWallStreet’s statement is here, and it’s wide-angled and quite good, including this:
While we believe Cecily’s story can provide a rallying point around which others may challenge police sexual violence and the brutal suppression of dissent, we recognize that, at best, Cecily is an awkward symbol for the broader issues of police brutality and a broken, biased legal system. This awkwardness is but one example of many awkward scenarios regarding race and privilege that played out in Occupy communities since the original occupation of Zuccotti Park. As a movement, we see in this moment a chance not to push past, but to sit with that awkwardness—to start to reach out in ways that at times may be uncomfortable and to further stretch our boundaries. To learn from communities who’ve been in this struggle long before Occupy existed: From feminist organizations who resist patriarchal domination and combat sexual violence, to anti-racist organizations who, in their struggle for justice, have been met every step of the way by a violent police force and a legal system committed to silencing dissent.
The Occupy Wall Street Movement has been a catalyst for social and economic change. But, while we claim to be “the 99%”, building a movement that truly represents the diversity and strength of the people will require a principled approach in our activism centered around a love ethic. Bell Hooks describes the love ethic in All About Love as:
“The will to one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. Love is as love does, Love is an act of will—namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.
Yes, we need to have conversations about a higher sort of love., don’t we? Soon, I hope.
For now, you can write to her at:
Book & Case Number 3101400431
Rose M. Singer Center
19-19 Hazen Street
East Elmhurst, New York 11370
For a superior narrative using Zach Roberts’ photo-journalism to document the events as they unfolded at Zuccotti Park the night in 2012 when McMillan was assaulted and defended herself, see this piece at Bagnotes.com, ‘Missing the Big Picture: How Cecily McMillan, Convicted of Assault, Was Violently Assaulted by NYPD at M17 Occupy Protest.’ If Cecily wants Martin Stolar to pursue an appeal or a civil suit, it will be an invaluable resource.
This is the song Mr. wd and I blasted every Saturday before we went to town and Occupied Mancos, CO. It’s a song of resistance, courage, and the importance of not surrendering to those who oppress us daily. Yes, they have tried to make revolution illegal, but those committed to creating a more just and better world may be bowed, but rarely broken. Bring on the Light! Stay safe, but resolute.
Cross-posted at Café-Babylon.net