Why You Should Know Cecily McMillan, #Justice4Cecily
On the night of March 17, 2012, Cecily McMillan was arrested at Zuccotti Park. It was the six-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street and though she’d joined the protestors before, that night she was there to meet up with friends on the way to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at a local bar. Police forces swept in to clear the park, and chaos erupted as many protestors attempted to hold their ground and others went limp, officers dragging them toward the police buses. During this raid, McMillan was grabbed from behind on her right breast hard enough to leave a large handprint bruise, which was later photographed by her doctor. She lunged back, elbowing the assailant — Officer Grantley Bovell — in the face.
While McMillan and her supporters expected Bovell to be charged with assault, it was the officer who brought charges against Cecily. Bovell claims she purposefully jumped up and backward to elbow him in the eye as he attempted to escort her out of the park. McMillan now faces a felony charge and up to seven years in prison.
The trial proceedings began last Monday, after weeks of a laborious jury selection. As with all the Occupy Wall Street trials, it’s proven difficult to find prospective jurors who don’t have a strong opinion one way or another on the movement that dominated local and national news for months. McMillan’s friends and supporters gather daily outside the court, all eager to speak on her behalf to press or passersby. But, inside the courtroom, the outcome remains entirely uncertain.
Crossposted from here: Why You Should Know Cecily McMillan
From an eye witness.
This is the Livestream from Luke Rudkowski of the night of Cecily’s arrest. The event was at the 6 month anniversary of OWS, before any of us understood how things could play out. Today was the first time I watched this video from start to finish. I think it serves as an excellent learning moment (I often watch my own footage to learn from it). In the moment, most of us do not think that our footage may be used later in a court room. I am in no way criticizing Luke for how upset he got. I probably would have tossed my camera and run across the street to help her and end up arrested and thereby useless. I think the reason Tim Pool got so popular with everyday people was because he is almost always cool headed as are many others (me? not so much). I often find myself unclear over whether I am reporting or participating when I stream…and there is a difference. As a participant we are PART of the action. As a journalist we are OBSERVERS and COMMENTATORS. I tip my proverbial hat to everyone who does this work. Most of us LOVE IT for various reasons. Some love being journalists/reporters. Some love being photographers. I love watching and interacting with people. Luke has my utmost respect and I hope this footage is allowed in court because it clearly shows who was violent that night.
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