An Occupier’s Trial

By Maurice Isserman

cecilymcmillan.jpg

Cecily McMillan has had trouble concentrating on the master’s thesis she is supposed to be writing this spring under my direction at the New School in New York City, a study of the political beliefs and career of the late, great socialist, pacifist, and civil rights campaigner Bayard Rustin.

It’s not that Cecily has writer’s block and has been avoiding the library (if only it were that). Rather, she is spending far too much of her time in the defendant’s seat in a courtroom in New York City Criminal Court in Lower Manhattan. There she is facing charges of felony assault on a police officer in Zuccotti Park, birthplace of Occupy Wall Street, on March 17, 2012. On that day a demonstration took place in the park to mark the six-month anniversary of the original occupation. When the police moved in to clear the park, making scores of arrests, Cecily was caught in the melee. Her trial began this past week, on Monday, April 7, and has drawn national and international media attention, being billed as the last Occupy trial. On Friday, the newly seated jury heard opening arguments from the prosecution and from Cecily’s lawyers. The case is expected to last another two weeks. If convicted, she could be sentenced to seven years in prison. . . .

For the complete report, go to the Dissent blog. Cross-posted with permission from Dissent.

Maurice_Isserman_Photo.jpgMaurice Isserman is a professor of history at Hamilton College, the author of An Other American:  The Life of Michael Harrington (2000). His most recent article for Dissent chronicled its 60-year history.

 

 

Individually signed posts do not necessarily reflect the views of DSA as an organization or its leadership.

Cecily McMillan is a DSA member and a former volunteer organizer for the Young Democratic Socialists. Click here to see DSA’s statement on Cecily’s case. For updates on the trial and how to support Cecily, go to justiceforcecily.com.

 

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
· 44 rsvps

Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
· 26 rsvps

 

Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.