On Monday, we ask that you think about how our communities are being enslaved for profit by the prison industrial complex and the #NewJimCrow. In solidarity with the many who are in this abusive system, we ask that you wear orange.
Our friend and fellow occupier, Cecily McMillan is the victim of a sexual assault in which her breast was violently grabbed by an NYPD officer. She is now looking at 2-7 years in New York state prison after a guilty verdict came down from the jurors on May 5th. Nine jurors have officially petitioned the court for leniency in the sentencing of Cecily McMillan. It is clear that hard time in prison is a punishment that does not fit the crime.
If you are in New York City, we encourage you to come to the press conference at City Hall on Monday at 12pm: Facebook Page. Elected officials, occupiers and advocates of all stripes are calling for leniency in the form of community service instead of jail in anticipation of her sentencing on May 19th. We will then deliver 20,000+ petition signatures calling for #Leniency4Cecily.
Occupy Wall Street Hero and Founding Zuccotti Cecily McMillan was physically assaulted by the NYPD on March 17, 2012 and then perversely convicted of assaulting the police officer who put her in the hospital. Cecily is now in prison at Rikers Island awaiting her sentencing, for up to 7 years in prison.
Alert: 8 Days remain until Cecily's sentencing on May 19.
"We hope Americans will show as much support to Cecily McMillan's case as the people in the United States did to us, when we were in prison. Cecily is completely anti-fear… she realizes what is going on and can take responsibility for everything that is happening." - Pussy Riot
We are hoping that Manhattan court will not convict Cecily McMillan to prison term. Anyway,it's time to start your own, american Pussy Riot.
[NEW YORK, NY] At 11:00am EST Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina of Pussy Riot / Zona Prava visited New York’s Rikers Island to meet with jailed Occupy founder Cecily McMillan (Zuccotti).
The purpose of Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina’s visit was to offer consolation and solidarity with Cecily and to learn more about the injustices she is experiencing.
The following is a statement from Cecily McMillan’s support committee regarding this morning’s visit:
“On May 9th, Nadezhda ‘Nadia’ Tolokonnikova and Maria ‘Masha’ Alyokhina, who were persecuted for their involvement in Pussy Riot, specifically their Punk Prayer performance in Moscow, Russia, met up with the Justice For Cecily Team in preparation for their visit to Cecily McMillan at Rikers Island. They were very interested to learn about the injustices in this case, specifically in the prosecutorial process and the nested relations between Wall Street, the justice system and elected officials. Nadia and Masha identified with Cecily’s plight, especially the disproportionate sentencing she faces. We thank Nadia and Masha for visiting, and hope their visit will draw attention to Cecily’s case in the larger context of stifling dissent whether here, in Russia or elsewhere in the world.”
Just spoke to @pussyrrriot leaving Rikers after visiting Cecily McMillan.
I am a general practitioner and sat in on some of the pre-trial and trial dates for my former client who was represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney. I found Judge Zweibel to be very biased in favor of the prosecution. He made surprising rulings that seemed to deny some of the defendant's most basic constitutional rights. He also appeared to look the other way on a serious issue of prosecutorial misconduct, including the withholding and tampering of evidence, and would refuse to count some of the prosecutor's long delays towards the defendant's right to a speedy trial. His evidentiary rulings almost always appeared to favor the ADA, and he made it very difficult for the defense attorney to admit even the most basic evidence at trial. He continuously sustained the ADA's objections to the defense attorney's questions, and made the defense attorney sweat and suffer at getting in even the most basic material and relevant evidence. Thank goodness the jury was not swayed by Judge Zweibel's hostility towards the defendant and still found him not guilty (it was a riduculous charge and prosecution brought by the ADA, which never should have been prosecuted in the first place). I found Judge Zweibel to be unfair towards the defendant and his attorney. I am glad that this forum exists to permit some minor recourse and feedback for what would otherwise be the unbridled power wielded by judges, sometimes unfairly.
Nine members of the jury that convicted Occupy Wall Street protester of felony assault of an officer have signed a letter asking that the judge not sentence her to any prison time
"We the jury petition the court for leniency in the sentencing of Cecily McMillan," the letter reads. "We feel that the felony mark on Cecily's record is punishment enough for this case and that it serves no purpose to Cecily or to society to incarcerate her for any amount of time."
One member of the jury told the Guardian a day after the verdict that they weren't aware that McMillan was facing up to seven years in prison for their verdict: “Most just wanted her to do probation, maybe some community service. But now what I’m hearing is seven years in jail? That’s ludicrous. Even a year in jail is ridiculous.”
In the trial that lasted nearly four weeks, McMillan claimed that her arresting officer, Grantley Bovell, violently grabbed her breast, which caused her to rear back and strike him with her elbow. Officer Bovell testified that it was intentional. Photographs show a deep bruise on McMillan's right breast.