Cecily McMillan, Occupy Wall Street Activist, Exits Rikers Island Fighting For Prisoner Rights
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — An Occupy Wall Street activist convicted of one of the few felonies coming out of the protests and released from prison Wednesday said she is even more committed to activism after serving 58 days.
Cecily McMillan spoke to reporters outside the Rikers Island complex, where she had served time after her May 5 conviction of assaulting a police officer.
She could have been sent to prison for seven years, but her case became a cause celebre with even some of the jurors who convicted her asking for leniency. She also received a jailhouse visit from members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot.
McMillan was sentenced to 90 days behind bars and served two-thirds of that under a standard correctional practice of inmates being credited time for good behavior.
She emerged from Rikers with a list of demands from the women inside — including better health care, resources for drug rehabilitation and education, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“On the inside, I discovered a world where words like ‘freedom’ and ‘rights’ don’t even exist,” McMillan said.
McMillan said she, too, was treated poorly. She said she was denied mail — some letters were torn up.
McMillan was arrested as activists observed the Occupy’s six-month mark on March 17, 2012. Police were clearing people from the movement’s former home base at Zuccotti Park.
Prosecutors pointed to video showing McMillan elbowing an officer in the eye as he walked behind her, ushering her along. She said she reacted out of alarm after her breast was grabbed from behind, which the officer denied doing and isn’t clear in the video.
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