Jailed Occupy Activist Cecily McMillian Acts with The Stop Mass Incarceration Network to End Abuse at Rikers Island

Stop Mass Incarceration Network | August 15, 2014

NYC-SMIN activists joined with OWS activist Cecily McMillan and her supporters to deliver petitions demanding an end to human rights abuses on Rikers Island, New York City's notorious penal colony. Below is a report by a #Justice4Cecily supporter.

Today a delegation of activists went to Rikers Island to deliver our petition of over ten thousand signatures to NYC Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte. When we arrived at the meet-up location, we found the area more heavily militarized than ever - they shut down the bus stop where we had planned to gather, and when we attempted to cross the bridge we were immediately rdered off the island.

The are was completely locked down. We were surrounded by NYPD vans and Corrections Emergency. The press director for Corrections, Robin Campbell, came out to try and persuade us to abandon our effort to get the petition to Commissioner Ponte and to leave it with him instead. We refused, and insisted that we would only deliver the petition to the acting Commissioner.

Despite their intimidation tactics of brandishing police dogs and enough zip-ties to arrest a group ten times our size, we held our ground and successfully negotiated the following: Commissioner Ponte has received the petitions and we will have a sit-down meeting with him on Monday August 25. We have this in writing and are determined to hold the commissioner fully accountable.

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is actively organizing October 2014 to be a month of resistance to mass incarceration, police terror, repression and the criminalization of a generation.