Tag Archives: protest

Lorelai Linklater, Peri Gilpin, Janine Turner in Dallas to film Occupy, Texas

Lorelai Linklater, the 20-year-old daughter of Austin director Richard “Rick” Linklater, appears in his new film Boyhood that seemingly everyone is talking about. And now she’ll be spending part of the summer in Dallas shooting Occupy, Texas, a film with some familiar faces.

Local Booker T. grad Gene Gallerano wrote the script and stars as Beau Baker, an Occupy Wall Street protester who leaves his tent in Zuccotti Park and returns to his upper middle-class family in Texas when he learns of his parents’ death.

Locally raised actors Peri Gilpin (Frasier) and Janine Turner (Northern Exposure) co-star. Principal photography will take place in Preston Hollow and East Dallas.

The film is both produced and directed by Jeff Barry, Gallerano’s friend from Fordham and Yale Drama School. Twenty of the 21 shoot days are in Dallas, more than 95 percent of the cast and crew are from Texas and more than half of the money to make the film was raised in Dallas.

Jonathan Brownlee and David Kiger are the executive producers.

Dallas super lawyer and film buff Steve Stodghill has more than a passing interest in Occupy, Texas. He has a scene with Janine Turner playing a creepy grocery store manager.

But more pleasing to him was that the first scene shot in Dallas features Turner in the master bedroom of the Stodghill mansion near Strait Lane where he lives with his wife, Anne.

“Steve’s very, very slow takeover of Hollywood continues,” Anne cracks.

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Occupy Wall Street activist leaves NYC jail after 58 days

NEW YORK — An Occupy Wall Street activist convicted of one of the few felonies coming out of the protests says she is even more committed to activism after 58 days in jail.

Cecily (SEH’-suh-lee) McMillan was released from Rikers Island on Wednesday.

She was convicted on May 5 of assaulting a police officer and could have been sent to prison for seven years.

Her case became a cause celebre. Members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot visited her behind bars. Even some of the jurors who convicted her asked for leniency.

After her release, McMillan spoke to reporters outside the jail complex about the women she had met inside. She says they want better health care and more resources for drug rehabilitation and education.

Occupy Wall Street Activist Cecily McMillan Charges ‘Medical Malpractice’ In …

NEW YORK — Occupy Wall Street cause célèbre Cecily McMillan was released from Rikers Island on Wednesday and immediately used her freedom to denounce the “medical malpractice” that she alleges contributed to a prisoner’s death last week.

McMillan told reporters that a woman in her unit with Hepatitis C and liver cancer was given excessive amounts of the painkiller methadone and prevented from seeking appropriate health care. She described how the woman, whose name she said was Judith, was “coughing up blood accompanied with what we believe were chunks of her liver.”

Authorities ignored inmates’ requests for help until it was too late, McMillan alleged, and Judith died in a hospital. A New York City Department of Corrections spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (See UPDATE below.)

Rikers has recently been rocked by allegations that guards were smuggling contraband to inmates, with as many as 12 facing charges. The jail has also been troubled by a spate of violence stemming from a lack of psychiatric beds and the deaths of two mentally ill inmates, one of whom was a former marine who “baked to death” in his cell.

McMillan has been in jail since May 5 after being convicted by a Manhattan jury of second degree felony assault of NYPD Officer Grantley Bovell. She said serving time gave her a new appreciation for the challenges women face while incarcerated.

“I am inspired by the incredible resilience of incarcerated woman that I have encountered,” she said.

Her trial and conviction turned into a rallying point for some Occupy Wall Street supporters, who claimed that she was reacting to being groped by the officer when she elbowed him in the face.

Assistant District Attorney Shanda Strain told the judge in the case that McMillan’s story was “a fabrication clearly designed to manipulate the system and once again to assault Officer Bovell, although this time to assault his character.”

Standing outside of the bridge to Rikers Island — in the same spot where Pussy Riot posed in a May photo to support her — McMillan read a list of demands. She said they were collectively drafted by the women in her unit at the jail complex’s Rose M. Singer Center. She said they wanted better access to medical treatment, greater opportunities for education while inside the system, and more rigorously enforced rules for corrections officers.

McMillan also said she was disturbed by the way in which she was set free — she said she was dropped off from a dark van in an unfamiliar neighborhood in Queens. “Quite frankly, I was terrified that it was another setup,” she said.

Her release does not spell the end of her legal struggles: McMillan still faces another trial over a separate incident in which she allegedly pretended to be a lawyer to prevent a friend’s arrest in December 2013.

But for now, she seems to be enjoying her freedom to speak out, as she did in a pointed sentencing statement in May.

Asked if she had any regrets, she responded, “I wish I had gone to the beach more before the trial.”

UPDATE: 11 p.m. — The Department of Corrections said in a statement it attributed to an unnamed “DOC spokesperson”: “The Department of Correction and its partners at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are committed to providing high quality care for all inmates, who enter the jail system with significantly higher rates of disease, including HIV, hepatitis C, asthma, hypertension and substance use, than the general population.”

Occupy off-the-wall street

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiJefferson Siegel/New York Daily News Convicted by her peers, not the system

Political prisoner in her own mind and convicted felon Cecily McMillan is a free woman after serving just 58 days for launching a vicious elbow into Officer Grantley Bovell’s face.

She celebrated at a coming-out party by reading aloud a 1960s-style manifesto that ran to 1,175 words, nearly a word for every hour she served. Some pearls of delusion:

“Millionaires and billionaire (sic) — who had a vested interest in silencing a peaceful protest about the growing inequalities in America — coerced the justice system, manipulated the evidence, and suddenly I became dangerous and distinguished from law-abiding citizens.”

And: “We will continue to fight until we gain all the rights we deserve as citizens of this earth.”

Again, McMillan was caught on video assaulting a cop. Refused a plea. Was convicted.

Hilariously, she insisted throughout her trial both that she was a political prisoner, because of the work she had done during the heyday of Occupy Wall Street, and also that she had been partying with friends and only happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

McMillan served her sentence on Rikers Island. Much has been written of late about the size of the mentally ill population there. Hmmm.

Occupy Wall Street activist convicted of assault released after 58 days in New …



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    NEW YORK — An Occupy Wall Street activist convicted of one of the few felonies coming out of the protests was released from jail Wednesday and said she is even more committed to activism.

    Cecily McMillan, convicted on May 5 of assaulting a police officer, served 58 days in jail.

    McMillan, who had faced up to seven years in prison, became a cause celebre. Director Spike Jonze, Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon, some City Council members and several of the jurors who convicted her wrote to the court asking for leniency. More than 171,000 people signed an online petition. Members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot visited her behind bars.

    After her release, McMillan spoke to reporters outside the Rikers Island jail complex about the women she had met inside, saying they want better health care and more resources for drug rehabilitation and education.

    McMillan said she “walked in with one movement and return to you a representative of another.”

    McMillan was arrested as activists observed 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. She said police then roughed her up while arresting her as she suffered what she believed was a seizure.

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    Occupy Wall Street Activist Cecily McMillan Released, Brings Messages from …

    Watch the video above to see Cecily McMillan speak with reporters after her release; and an interview with her supporter Lucy Parks, by Democracy Now! fellow Messiah Rhodes. Scroll down to read the full transcript.

    “I was driven to Queens and dropped off on the side of the road,” Cecily McMillan said of her release from jail this morning with just a MetroCard.

    The Occupy Wall Street activist had planned to meet her supporters at the Rikers Island jail complex where she served 58 days for elbowing a police officer during her arrest at a protest. McMillan says she struck out instinctively when her breast was grabbed from behind.

    By this afternoon she had found her friends and was back at Rikers Island, where she held a press conference — outside the jail — to draw attention to a list of concerns and demands she gathered from the women prisoners she met while serving her sentence.

    “If Judge Zweibel, Cyrus Vance or Michael Bloomberg set out to make an example out of me to dissuade dissent, this has had exact opposite impact. I am absolutely and further committed to fighting for rights and freedoms that I did not even realize had been eroded to the extent they had,” McMillan said.

    One of the women’s key demands is that they be provided with adequate, safe, and timely healthcare, including mental healthcare services. McMillan noted in particular the death of a prisoner named Judith.

    “Judith … was transferred to our dorm 4 East A, where I was housed, only a few days before her death. She had recently been in the infirmary for a back problem, and had been prescribed methadone pills for the pain for quite a while. A few days before she died, they decided to change the medicine to liquid despite her dissent. They gave her a dosage of 190mg, which any doctor will tell you is a dangerous dosage, far higher than what anyone should be taking unless it is a serious emergency. Judith was not allowed to turn down the medicine or visit the clinic to get the dosage adjusted.

    “After three days on that dosage, Judith could no longer remember who or where she was and had begun coughing up blood, accompanied with what we believe were chunks of her liver. We attempted unsuccessfully to get her medical treatment for the entire day, at one point being told that this was ‘not an emergency,’ despite the fact that Judith was covered in blood. That night they finally removed her to the hospital, where she remained in critical condition before passing away a few days later.”

    This comes after a homeless mentally ill ex-marine died in an overheated cell at Rikers in February. The death of another prisoner led the FBI to arrest a corrections officer at the facility in March. Captain Terrence Pendergrass repeatedly ignored a 25-year-old mentally ill prisoner’s pleas for help after he ate a packet of detergent and began vomiting.

    McMillan told reporters she had no regrets and was glad she got to know her fellow prisoners at Rikers Island.

    “I will work tirelessly to make sure that these women’s voices reach outside the prison system,” she said. “I feel like we have finally made a real and concrete step towards effecting a true possibility of the statement, ‘We are the 99 percent.’”

    McMillan remains on probation for the next five years.

    This is a rush transcript of the video above. Copy may not be in its final form.

    CECILY McMILLAN: I said, “Yes, why aren’t they being released?” And then I was driven to Queens and dropped off on the side of the road with a MetroCard, after I spent about 35 minutes seated in that car trying to figure out why I was not being driven to the Perry Center, where my friends were waiting for me, and contesting the fact that it was an abolition of my rights to continue to hold custody of me without my consent. I had no ID. I had no phone. I had no keys. I had all my property. I had no idea where I was. And quite frankly, I was terrified that it was another setup in order to paint me as a serial criminal who is arrogant and outright against the institution of law.

    GABRIELLE FONROUGE: Where exactly were you dropped off in Queens? Do you know?

    UNIDENTIFIED: Can you identify yourself, please?

    GABRIELLE FONROUGE: Oh, Gabrielle Fonrouge, New York Post.

    UNIDENTIFIED: Thanks.

    CECILY McMILLAN: Queensboro. I found out from a gentleman who recognized my package as somebody having been just released from jail that I think it was Long Island City.

    GABRIELLE FONROUGE: Uh-huh, and how did you get out of there?

    CECILY McMILLAN: The same young gentleman, who turned out to be an activist for Chinese immigrant rights, ended up letting me use his cellphone and sitting with me the entire time I was there until my friends showed up via a car and helping me to—I was terrified. I did not want to be alone.

    CALEB MAUPIN: Caleb Maupin, Press TV. Are you planning any further civil action against the NYPD or Grantley Bovell?

    CECILY McMILLAN: Absolutely. But again, when I stood before trial, I was a law-abiding citizen that was worthy of being listened to, worthy of being trusted. Now I’m a felon. I don’t know that a civil suit will necessarily work for me any longer. One more question.

    NARMEEN CHOUDHURY: You mentioned that—this is Narmeen Choudhury from PIX 11. You mentioned that this has changed your life. Can you talk about how worried you are about moving forward now, how you think it’s changed your life, the direction you’re going to take?

    CECILY McMILLAN: I would say that if Judge Zweibel, Cyrus Vance or Michael Bloomberg set out to make an example out of me to dissuade dissent, this has had the exact opposite impact. I am absolutely and further committed to fighting for rights and freedoms that I did not even realize had been eroded to the extent that they have. I will work tirelessly to make sure that these women’s voices reach outside of that prison system. And I feel like we have finally made a real and concrete step towards effecting a true possibility of the statement, “We are the 99 percent,” and uniting against the corporate takeover of our democratic state and reclaiming it for ourselves as citizens, and which they are accountable to—or should be held accountable to.

    MARLA DIAMOND: I’m Marla Diamond with WCBS. Do you have any regrets?

    CECILY McMILLAN: I wish that I had gone to the beach more before the trial. I mean, other than that, I stood up there and did what I resolved to do. I wouldn’t change a thing. I am so incredibly lucky to have met the women that I met in Rikers, to have had them as guidance, to be given a broader view of the people that we’re fighting for. No, I don’t have any regrets.

    LUCY PARKS: So today Cecily was released from Rikers Island after 58 days there this round and two counted from when she was first arrested. But this morning we were expecting her to be released here, because that’s what they usually do. But this morning, like she said in the press conference, a bunch of captains basically grabbed her and hustled her around for a while and then threw her in a car with tinted windows, didn’t tell her where they were going, dropped her off at Queensboro Plaza. We got a frantic call from her. I think she borrowed someone’s cellphone at around 10:00 a.m. to come and pick her up, so that we could get her here, because she didn’t have a phone or credit cards or ID or anything.

    We haven’t fully decided exactly what to do next, but the way things are shaping up, I think that there will be a major push about conditions in Rikers Island, and I think that’s something we very much want to be a part of. And that’s obviously something Cecily cares very deeply about, because those are her friends, and that’s her—I mean, she refers to them even as her family. So I think that the next step for her and for a lot of New York City activists is going to be fighting about Rikers’ conditions and fighting about incarceration.

    Supporters at this moment, I think, should rejoice, be happy, maybe have a beer, but then remember how many people are still locked up in Rikers Island right now and then start work on that tomorrow. And I do think that the amount of press and attention that Cecily’s case has gotten and how much people care about that and how much people listen to what she says will create a huge push towards prison justice and prison abolition, because, honestly, there were a lot of people who hadn’t thought about the criminal justice system being messed up, who didn’t really care about it, who, when they saw Cecily’s case, finally got mobilized and finally got really angry about it. And, I mean, personally, I would have liked people to be really angry about it a long time ago, but now that it’s happening, we have to take it, and we have to do something really powerful with it.

    Cecily McMillan,
    Occupy Wall Street activist who was injured during protests in Zuccotti Park and later sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years of probation for elbowing a police officer during her arrest. She was Northeast regional organizer for Young Democratic Socialists and is a graduate student at the New School for Social Research.

    Cecily McMillan, Occupy Wall Street Activist, Exits Rikers Island Fighting For …

    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.

    Cecily McMillan, Occupy Wall Street Activist, Exits Rikers Island Fighting For Prisoner Rights

    114284213 Cecily McMillan, Occupy Wall Street Activist, Exits Rikers Island Fighting For Prisoner Rightswcbs880 audio logo Cecily McMillan, Occupy Wall Street Activist, Exits Rikers Island Fighting For Prisoner Rights

    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.

    You May Also Be Interested In These Stories

    (TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

    Occupy Protesters Arrested For Satirizing Police Repression Reach $22000 …

    NEW YORK — Two Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested in May 2012 over a piece of street theater meant to satirize the New York Police Department have reached a $22,000 settlement with New York City, they announced on Tuesday.

    Bicycling activists Keegan Stephan and Barbara Ross were arrested as they were protesting the NYPD’s practice of arresting Occupy Wall Street demonstrators who filmed the police at work. Dressed as comic exaggerations of cops, they were melodramatically ordering fellow bicyclists with the cycling collective Time’s Up! to stop filming them.

    “This was during the height of the suppression of Occupy Wall Street. The police were cracking down, especially on filming the police, so this was a theatrical way to draw attention to the fact that it is totally legal to film the police,” said Stephan.

    The joke went downhill when actual police officers showed up. Initially, Stephan and Ross were told they were being arrested for impersonating police officers. The charges against them were later downgraded to reckless endangerment and eventually dropped.

    Their arrests were caught on tape:

    “It was blue Dickies and a blue Dickies jacket, and I pasted the letters ‘NYPD’ on the back. … I don’t think anyone seeing me in a double-long cycle, covered in cardboard, was going to think I was a police officer,” recalled Stephan. Just two months earlier, Stephan noted, Lt. Daniel J. Albano of the police department’s legal bureau had actually complimented Ross on wearing the same costume.

    Stephan and Ross sued the city for false arrest. They received the monetary offer in March. The settlement continues a pattern under New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) of making peace with former Occupiers over the large-scale arrests during the movement’s heyday.

    New York City Law Department spokesman Nick Paolucci said in a statement that “settling this case was in the best interest of all parties.”

    The counterfeit cops were represented by the law firm Stecklow Cohen Thompson, which had previously hired Stephan to publicize a $583,000 settlement in a separate lawsuit against the NYPD.

    “It really is echoing these last few settlements for Occupy Wall Street,” said Stephan of his own settlement. “The police need to stop falsely arresting people who are exercising their First Amendment rights. If we have skilled lawyers on our side, they’re going to have to keep paying, and the people of New York are going to have to demand that they stop doing this.”

    Stephan, an organizer with the street safety group Right of Way, noted the irony of being charged with “reckless endangerment” for riding his bike when the city rarely brings such charges against motorists who kill pedestrians.

    He said that after legal fees, his share of the settlement works out to about $7,500. His plans for the money: “I’m gonna buy a new bicycle and keep giving ‘em hell.”

    University’s ‘Fight for Freedom’ Exhibit Includes ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Tribute

    The American Revolution. The Bill of Rights. The Civil Rights Movement.

    Occupy Wall Street?

    Librarians at the Vanderbilt University library have included “Occupy Nashville” memorabilia in its new “Fight for Freedom” exhibit.

    Tucked away beside displays that call to mind issues regarding free speech and freedom of the press, librarians pay homage to the anti-capitalist movement, which in their eyes is apparently akin to the fight against religious persecution and segregation.

    “In 2011, the Occupy Nashville movement formed to support the efforts of Occupy Wall Street and shared many of the same issues, including economic inequality and excessive corporate influence over government,” explains the exhibit’s website.

    The Occupy Nashville display includes a red and black flag waved at rallies, an article on how college students rallied against homelessness, and a flier in which Chase Bank is castigated for daring to try to foreclose on the house of a former civil rights leader, according to the website.

    Books that accompany the memorabilia offer titles such as “The Trouble Is the Banks,” “From Foreclosure to Fair Lending,” “Class War,” and “The Occupy Handbook.”

    “We hope the community will be inspired by the legacy of those who struggled and sacrificed to ensure civil rights and equality with the hope of making ours a better world,” Connie Vinita Dowell, dean of libraries, told the Vanderbilt News.

    And there it is. At Vanderbilt, the Occupy Wall Street protesters are to be counted among history makers who tried to make the world a better place, these champions of freedom who bemoaned oppression while they drank $5 lattes and went to college on student loans made possible by the very people they loathed.

    The exhibit will remain on display through April 2015.

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    Rent-A-Jerk: How I Found an Occupy Wall Street Activist on an Escort Website

    I recently heard about a website called Rent-A-Gent.  At first it sounded like an escort service.  

    And it is.  

    On the surface, there were some aspects that appealed to a single girl like me.  I could hire a driver, handyman, dog trainer, or language tutor and see photos and reviews.  But after perusing the various categories I noticed that these men were all very well-rounded.  What are the chances that a bodyguard, dog trainer, plumber and assistant would also be interested in escorting me to a black tie function?  It’s pretty amazing that all of these guys have so many skills, as well as professionally-retouched, shirtless photos.  Though I have to say, sorting by price, eye color and body type is pretty handy when looking for a handyman. 

    There was one “gent” who stood out among the rest.  Harrison the Revolutionary.  It was as if every word was written for me… to have full-body heaves.  His “resume” states:

    I’m one of the organizers of Occupy Wall Street. I am a true sapio-sexual intellectual-activist. Currently finishing my Phd and writing a dissertation on erotic arts, I am an expert in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and erotic hypnosis. Or you can just eat sushi off of my body, up to you.

    I have to break this down sentence-by-sentence.  

    “I’m one of the organizers of Occupy Wall Street.”

    This is his opening line on an escort service website.  Is there anything more capitalistic than selling one’s body for money?  My first instinct was to assume he’s lying about actual involvement in the Occupy movement, but among his photos is one of him on Fox News arguing with Sean Hannity.  Of course for someone like me, it serves more as an advertisement for Hannity’s virility than for Harrison’s.

    “I am a true sapio-sexual intellectual-activist.”

    I didn’t know what the heck this meant, so I looked it up.  Apparently, a sapio-sexual is “one who finds intelligence the most sexually attractive feature.”

    I suppose this is code for “Unshaven Feminists Welcome!”

    “I am an expert in… erotic hypnosis.”

    Erotic hypnosis?  What do feminists think about this?  When a hypnotized woman says “yes” does it really mean “yes”?  I imagine Harrison with a girl he met at an Occupy Wall Street protest. “You are getting veryyyyyyy Roofied,” he coos. (And I’m reminded of Andrew Breitbart’s fantastic calls that these protestors “stop raping people”)

    Finally, Harrison goes full-on creep and ends his resume with this nugget:

    “Or you can just eat sushi off of my body, up to you.”

    I can’t think of anything more disgusting than eating sushi off an Occupy Wall Street organizer’s naked body. But, I’m glad the choice is mine.  Unless I’ve been hypnotized to choose otherwise.  Oh, and this privilege is $200 an hour.  That’s not capitalism, that’s robbery.

    Just to be clear, I found Harrison when I clicked on “Assistant” services.  Judging by his resume, the only thing he’s probably successfully assisted anyone with is a latte order.