Cecily McMillan Gets Out Of Rikers With New Determination To Fight For 99%
- New York 07/02/2014 by Linda Perry (WBAI,Sparrow Media)
Cecily McMillan released from Rikers Island Correctional Facility, July 2, 2014.
Occupy Wall Street activist and graduate student Cecily McMillan was released from Rikers Prison today. McMillan was convicted of a felony assault of a police officer after an incident at Occupy Wall Street's Zuccotti Park on March 17, 2012. She served 58 days in jail.
McMillan was dropped off by Rikers officials in the middle of Queens and driven back by supporters in front of Rikers for a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
“Incarceration is meant to prevent crime. Its purpose is to penalize and then return us to the outside world ready to start anew. The world I saw at Rikers isn’t concerned with that. Many of the tactics employed are aimed at simple dehumanization.”
McMillan read a series of demands she put together with women at Rikers to make the prison more functional. Adequate safe and timely healthcare, mental health services and the ability to request female doctors are some of the demands.
The activist paid tribute to the women she met. "I'm incredibly inspired by resilience of incarcerated women I have met at Rikers."
McMillan says Rikers changed her. She says she is committed to fighting for rights and freedoms which she wasn’t even aware had eroded to the extent that they have.
"I will work tirelessly to make sure that these womens' voices reach outside that prison system, and I feel like we have made a concrete step towards effecting a true possiblity of the statement that we are the 99% and uniting against the corporate takeover of our democratic state and reclaiming it for ourselves as citizens."
McMillan said she walked into Rikers Island Prison with one movement, Occupy Wall Street. She walked out of prison with another, the fight for prison reform.