Statement Condemning the Prosecution of Cecily McMillan

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) condemns the prosecution of DSA member Cecily McMillan for a class D felony allegedly committed during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration on March 17, 2012, in Zuccotti Park, New York, NY. DSA calls for all charges to be dropped against Ms. McMillan.

Seized by police during a mass arrest of peaceful protestors, McMillan was beaten severely by the police on her ribs and arms until she went into seizure. She was subsequently denied medical treatment by the police for a lengthy period of time. 

According to her attorney, before the beating, an individual grabbed her right breast from behind and McMillan instinctively threw an elbow in response. McMillan’s assailant turned out to be a male plainclothes police officer. In addition, the defense has recently learned that the arresting officer has previously been involved in incidents involving the possible excessive use of force, as well as other possible illegal behavior.

Despite the facts in the case that demonstrate that the police initiated the altercation, Cecily McMillan is facing charges that could yield up to a seven year prison term. Due to the unjustified nature of the police assault on McMillan and her subsequent brutal beating, DSA joins independent observers in demanding that the charges be dropped immediately.

At the same time, DSA would point out that McMillan is just one of more than 700 protesters arrested in the course of New York Occupy Wall Street’s mass mobilization. These mass arrests during a peaceful protest resulted from a policing policy of “arrest now, ask questions, and find charges later,” a pattern of unjust policing noted in a scrupulously detailed report issued by the NYU School of Law and Fordham Law School faculties.

According to this report, the NYPD routinely used excessive force against Occupy protestors, with the police employing batons, pepper spray, scooters, and horses against the peaceful demonstrators. This behavior has led to the vast majority of these 700 charges being dismissed by the courts.

DSA notes that Cecily McMillan has been an active member for several years of both DSA and its youth section, the Young Democratic Socialists, having served as the volunteer northeast regional coordinator for YDS in 2011-12. But McMillan's case is just one blatant example of a broader pattern of state violation of the basic right of all to peacefully assemble and protest.

DSA urges its members and friends to participate in demonstrations of support for McMillan and to contribute to the costs of her defense. We urge everyone to sign the petition requesting that the District Attorney drop the charges against McMillan.

Concerned individuals can click here to find more information about the upcoming protest on her arraignment date of March 19.

To follow any new developments please join the Facebook page “Cecily’s Judgement Day.”

Statement by the National Political Committee of DSA on March 3, 2014.

Introduction to Socialist Feminism Call

April 30, 2017
· 79 rsvps

Join Philadelphia DSA veteran activist Michele Rossi to explore “socialist feminism.” How does it differ from other forms of feminism? How and when did it develop? What does it mean for our activism? 4-5:30pm ET, 3-4:30pm CT, 2-3:30pm MT, 1-2:30pm PT.

DSA Webinar: Talking About Socialism

May 02, 2017
· 37 rsvps

Practice talking about socialism in plain language. Create your own short rap. Prepare for those conversations about socialism that happen when you table in public.

Join us for our latest organizing training for democratic socialist activists: DSA’s (Virtual) Little Red Schoolhouse.

This training is at 9:00pm Eastern, 8:00pm Central, 7:00pm Mountain, 6:00pm Pacific, 5:00pm Alaska, and 3:00pm Hawaii Time. Please RSVP.

Instructor:

Steve Max, DSA Vice Chair and one of the founders of the legendary community organizing school, The Midwest Academy

In Talking About Socialism you will learn to:

  • Have a quick response ready to go next time someone asks you about democratic socialism.
  • Create your own elevator pitch about democratic socialism and DSA.
  • Use your personal experience and story to explain democratic socialism.
  • Think through the most important ideas you want to convey about democratic socialism.
  • Have a concise explanation of what DSA does, for your next DSA table, event or coalition meeting.

Training Details

  • This workshop is for those who have already had an introduction to democratic socialism, whether from DSA's webinar or from other sources.
  • If you have a computer with microphone, speakers and good internet access, you can join via internet for free.
  • If you have questions, contact Theresa Alt <talt@igc.org> 607-280-7649.
  • If you have very technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt <schmittaj@gmail.com> 608-335-6568.
  • Participation requires that you register at least 45 hours in advance, by midnight Sunday.

 

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 19 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as “The Free State of Jones.” Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.