Today, March 17th, marks the two-year anniversary of the infamous crackdown on Occupy Wall Street’s peaceful 6 month anniversary celebration in Zuccotti Park where 73 people were arrested in the ultimate display of over-policing and unnecessary escalation.
While the dates have changed, it doesn’t feel like much else has. The many grievances outlined by Occupy Wall Street remain just as relevant today as they did back then. While no banker has gone to jail for their crimes against humanity, occupiers are still being prosecuted for their participation in protests, including Cecily McMillan in New York who is still waiting for her trial, which has been postponed five times and counting over two, long years.
The #M17 celebration, was a mere four months after the first eviction of Zuccotti Park, as part of a federally coordinated crackdown on Occupy encampments across the nation by the Department of Homeland Security, National Park Service and numerous Fusion Centers coordinating federal and local law enforcement agencies.
Over 90 percent of the 7,000+ arrests made nationally have been dismissed, but one of the most serious charges and last open cases is still set for trial, despite thousands of signatures demanding the dismissal of this case to the Manhattan District Attorney. For those not familiar with the case, Cecily McMillan was violently grabbed from behind by a police officer as she was exiting Zuccotti park in compliance with police orders on March 17th 2012. Startled as she was lifted off her feet by her right breast, Cecily threw up her arms in an instinctive reaction, accidentally elbowing the officer in the face. She was subsequently beaten into a seizure, waking up hours later completely covered in bruises. To add insult to injury, Cecily was charged with felony assault of a police officer. In addition to her physical injuries Cecily has suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which has severely affected her ability to function as a student in graduate school. If found guilty, she faces up to 7 years in prison. These charges criminalize a perfectly normal reaction of an otherwise innocent woman.
A pretrial motion for Cecily’s case will begin this Wednesday, March 19th at 100 Centre Street, Manhattan Room 1116 Part 41. If the motion is approved, the NYPD will be forced to turn over Officer Bovell’s sealed records, which could reveal crucial evidence about his already well-documented abusive history. A packed court can help ensure Judge Zweibel gives fair consideration to this important motion.
With love and solidarity,
The Justice For Cecily Support Team