Unbroken and out to expose US prison system: Exclusive Interview with Police Abuse Victim and Occupy Activist Cecily McMillan
By Dave Lindorff
In an exclusive intervew on the Progressive Radio Network’s “This Can’t Be Happening!” program, Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan, just released after two months of a three-month sentence to the Women’s Prison on Riker’s Island, talks about her conviction on a trumped-up charge of felony assault of a New York Police Officer.
A master’s degree student at New York’s New School, McMillan explains how the arresting officer she was convicted of felony assault for elbowing in the eye had actually grabbed her breast from behind, causing significant bruising, and then threw her to the ground, where she was further injured.
McMillan, who refused on principle a plea bargain offered by Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr. that would have left her with a felony conviction but perhaps no jail time, insisted on a full trial. She tells host Dave Lindorff how she was then barred by a pro-prosecution judge from presenting evidence to the jury about the arresting cop’s history of brutality and corruption.
She also talks of what she learned about the horrors of Rikers Island, where some of her cellmates were still waiting up for as much as five years just to be tried and sentenced, where humiliation and deprivation are the norm, and where rehabilitation is just a word.
To listen to a podcast of this full interview on the Progressive Radio Network show “This Can’t Be Happening!” that aired July 9 on PRN.fm, please go to ThisCantBeHappening!, the new uncompromising, four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, at www.thiscantbehappening.net