Have you, you, reader, been following the Cecily McMillan case? Most people have not. Most people don't know about it and its significance to every individual - as women, as Americans, and/or as humans.
Let's start with the basics - who is Cecily McMillan and what is her deal?
Cecily McMillan is a 25-year-old individual. She has been politically active for over a decade — most notably in the Democratic Socialists for America, the anti-Scott Walker mobilization, and Occupy Wall Street. She is a New School graduate. On March 17, 2012, Cecily attended a St. Patrick's day party. Not a protest, mind you, simply a day of celebration and fun. Before her outing, she dropped by our beloved Zuccotti Park, just to quickly pick up a friend. Soon after, police evacuated the park. As Cecily complied and departed, she was sexually assaulted by a cop. She was seized from behind and her breast was grabbed with such force, that a large bruise was left (there is photographic evidence of this.) Understandably, Cecily was startled by the action and her arm flew back, into the face of the cop; her attacker. She was then thrown to the ground where she was kicked and beaten to the point of seizures. She was then denied medical care.
Some may say this is a biased storytelling, that there is always another side to every story... and, maybe so, but the case that followed these actions put great strain on the belief in this concept. It did not allow for her side to be fairly told. Unfortunately, Cecily's case turned her into the attacker, she was not a victim in the least. Cecily is being accused of Felony Assault of a Police Officer. This is a charge that carries up to seven years imprisonment. In the two years that have followed these terrible events, Cecily's life has been reduced to continuous trials and a withering sense of humanity, strength, and justice.
What is my personal take on this whole situation? I think it may be rather obvious in what I've said so far how I feel about what took place and what Cecily is currently facing. I don't have the precise word for it. Sadly, in the state of today's world, I am not shocked by it. I have conflicting feelings. While I am devastated this poor woman has to deal with the trauma of sexual assault and physical damage, as well as having to face Riker's Island and whatever horrors she must, I am also rather glad. I am glad to see this case has become a staple point in the Occupy world. That the issues are being faced and fought. Cecily is not being left behind in the dust, there are people attending all her trials (100 Centre Street) and posting updates nearly daily. I truly hope this isn't simply a spectacle for more "rebels" and "radicals" to get behind in order to cast out and despise cops and courts and America. I think it has potential to be a revolutionary case. The kind protesting and disobedience cannot avoid, but through a wise jury and an effective judge, the judicial, political, and social world can be changed drastically. New insight and concerns will be risen and maybe good can still come of it.
As of today, May 19th, 2014 at 9.30 AM, Cecily has been sentenced to 90 days in prison and 5 years probation.
For more information, updates, ways to donate, contact Cecily, and/or help the cause, check out: http://justiceforcecily.com/