Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Jane Says Mayday Rocks: #FreeCecily #Justice4Cecily

on death ave tour the author and
owen by Jennifer Davis

could have been me you or any of us.
by e mcgregor
#FreeCecily #Justice4Cecily

Mayday always comes as a surprise.  Each year, it brings something to my life marking a convergence of bodies and movements, spring flowers and urgent cries. We want it to be there, wondering how it will happen, but it always does, reminding us of cracks n history between anarchism and public spaces, global movements, labor crusades, and immigrant struggles.

We fight over what it means, but it still reminds of a history of social movements.

“What  is anarchism?” wonders friend Scot Crow. “Yes, we can debate the minutia, the labels, the histories, words influences…does it really matter?   People  often internet-fight like our lives  depend on it instead of  letting  anarchy be the fluid and  dynamic ideal that it is…[A]narchy offers a crack in history to revisit long forgotten paths. And enables us to forge new ones  daring  us to take risks for ourselves and those around us. Until we are all free.”

This year was no different, reminding us that the streets are open for a different kind of history for us to be a part in.

By midnight, we were munching on snacks from the dumpsters and dancing to Sweet Jane as she remanded us Mayday rocks.  Feeling a bit of that joyous abandon, those familiar lyrics filled the village streets like an old friend we were just getting to know anew.  

Standin' on a corner,
Suitcase in my hand.
Jack's in his car, says to Jane, who's in her vest,
Me, babe, I'm in a rock n' roll band.
Ridin' in a Stutz Bearcat, Jim,
Those were different times.
And the poets studied rows of verse, 
And all the ladies rolled their eyes

Sweet Jane, Sweet Jane, Sweet Jane

Through the days before and after Mayday the city was cracking with energy, poetry marches, labor rallies, worker tours of sweatshops, renegade bike rides, and Jane’s walks throughout the West Village reminding us of her struggles vs. Robert Moses, and our battles against pipelines for a better world.
I rode between downtown Brooklyn and Mayday rallies all day long on Mayday.

My first stop was at Washington Square for the 99 pickets immigrant Justice Worker Tour
EspaƱol Abajo

May Day is fast approaching, which means its almost time for the 3rd Annual Immigrant Worker Justice Tour! 


Join Immigrant Worker Justice and 99 Pickets to march on International Workers Day as hundreds of us take to the streets of NYC to demand dignity, justice and respect for workers and immigrants everywhere. This years tour will be highlighting struggles throughout NYC, as well as those of our sisters and brothers across the US and around the world.

Meet up is 12:30PM at Washington Square Park (by the fountain), where we’ll head off to over a dozen targets throughout Lower Manhattan to demand an end to wage theft, exploitation, inhumane and unsafe working conditions, privatization, the deportation, detention and criminalization of immigrant communities, and attacks on people of color and the poor both here and abroad.

After the tour wraps up, we will join our comrades from the May 1st Coalition in Union Square!


Dropping by, I said chatted with friends from movements over the last fifteen years, from my union, Occupy, global justice and countless struggles in between.

Along friends at Mayday by Stacy Lanyon

Between meetings and work stuff, I snuck out for the labor rally, joining friends from the Lower East Side Collective, who I now work alongside within the CUNY Professional Staff Congress.

After a six PM class, I jumped on the bike for my third trip Into Manhattan of the Mayday.  I would be meeting the Public Space Party Mayday Dance Ride.

 Join Public Space Party for a Dance Ride to Celebrate International Mayday! Let's end May Day, International Workers' Day, in the streets, dancing together with tunes from our favorite sound bike. Dress Festive.

Everyone was hanging out In Tompkins Square Park.  There, a few crusty punks had joined us for our ride.

We’d rIde and hang out in Washington Square Park into the night, talking with others who’d been out all day long, remembering the year before, dancing and chatting.

Black Flags and Citibikes in Washington Square Park

We’d go dumpster diving, drinking cheap wine listening to the stooges,  I Wanna Be Your Dog, and 1969
1969 by the Stooges
Well it's 1969 okay 
All across the USA 
It's another year 
For me and you 
Another year 
With nothing to do 

Last year I was 21 
I didn't have a lot of fun 
And now I'm gonna be 22 
I say oh my and a boo hoo 
And now I'm gonna be 22 
I say oh my and a boo hoo 

It's 1969 okay 
All across the USA 
It's another year 
For me and you 
Another year 
With nothing to do 
Another year 
With nothing to do 
It's 1969 

 Listening, we drank cheap Merlot and enjoyed thrown away food.

 “Mayday is just beginning,” noted my friend Dave on the way to another party in Bushwhch. 
 the strike will last for the rest of your life.”

We’d stay up for hours before my final ride home for the night.

Friday fun at home with baby c by barbara ross

Saturday and Sunday, the vibe only continued.

 I wrote a note a note on facebook.
Join me for two wonderful community events today. At 1:30, I'll be riding with Wendy Brawer on her amazing tour of experiments in urban sustainability in New York City.
We hung out n the streets of the Lower East Side, for hours, a sojourn to Lower East Side Harm Reduction.

From there, a bunch of us plan to take part in Jane’s Walk at 5 PM at 9th and 14th. 

Scenes from Janes Walk Saturday Performance 
The next day, Wendy lead a Janes Walk tour through the Lower East Side. 

Join this resiliency-related Jane's Walk cycling tour with guest speakers including Benjamin Shepard of CUNY/Public Space Party and Green Map's Wendy Brawer - with 2 optional parties! All details here

Wendy's sustainability tour and Sadat Iqbal's community resources guide for Crusty Community, as well as photos on the history of syringe exchange at Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center. 
Fnshng the tour i rode up to 14th street for the Sunday Janes Walk.

Erik Mc Gregor  Occupy the Pipeline's Annual Jane's Walk 2014‏
Date: Apr 27, 2014 12:55 AM

Do you know who Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses are? Aside from MANY other things, Jane was a woman who created a movement against Robert's plan to wipe out lower Manhattan neighborhoods with a highway (bye bye Washington Sq Park) She was incredibly bright, tough, visionary and her movement succeeded. The Village today is the most darling area of NYC for a stroll. The Municipal Art Society of New York's program "Jane's Walk" -- happens all over North America in various cities the first wknd of May. This gives regular citizens the chance to create a walking tour of what they love about the place they live. Our group, Occupy the Pipeline, was selected as a *featured tour* this year for NYC since we had such a successful tour last year. It is theatrical, funny, curious and scary. Called "The Secrets of Death Avenue" We take you on a historical walk of the West Village (complete with NYC Cowboys protecting you from killer trolleysbefore The High Line was built) up until the modern day Death Avenue where terror lurks below the brand new Whitney Museum of American Art being constructed in the West Village. You will hear from the actual works of art in the Whitney permanent collection who are now an endangered species, you will get to see Jane and Robert have a boxing match on the cobblestone streets, and you will leave feeling educated, revived, hopeful and interested in building a city that makes our lives beautiful and easy. Come join the fun. We are offering two tours next weekend (and the costumes we are making are super awesome)
Saturday May 3, at noon AND Sunday May 4, at 5pm

photos by e mcgregor


 I would end up playing Bloomberg, condescending and bragging out his power broker role and the ways the art world has seemingly gone to sleep while the spectra pipeline creeps below their new building, bringing fracked natural gas.


The good feeling of Mayday did not last long, however, when we heard about the convection of Cecily M, an OWS activist arrested for pushing back as a police officer raided the park and grabbed her chest two years ago during yet another police raid in Zuccotti Park.   Pushing back, she was charged with a felony for attacking a police officer and subsequently charged with a crime.  

According to

Cecily McMillan, a 25-year-old organizer, and has been politically active for over a decade — most notably in the Democratic Socialists for America, the anti-Scott Walker mobilization, and Occupy Wall Street. However, on March 17, 2012, Cecily’s attendance at Zuccotti was a point of party, not protest. It was St. Patrick’s Day and as a McMillan, she vowed for this one occasion to put down the bullhorn and pick up the beer. Cecily swung by the park to pick up a friend on her way to a nearby pub. Minutes later, she was sexually assaulted while attempting to leave Zuccotti in compliance with police evacuation orders. Seized from behind, she was forcefully grabbed by the breast and ripped backwards. Cecily startled and her arm involuntarily flew backward into the temple of her attacker, who promptly flung her to the ground, where others repeatedly kicked and beat her into a string of seizures. In a world that makes sense, Cecily’s attacker would be brought to trial — but unfortunately, her attacker turned out to be a police officer. To add insult to injury, Cecily is being accused of Felony Assault of a Police Officer, a charge that carries up to seven years imprisonment. Two years later, the trauma continues as the constant string of court dates have all but reduced her life to trial and the hope for vindication. This website is dedicated to making sure Cecily gets the justice she deserves.

On Monday

Cecily was found guilty, noted

We are devastated by the Jury’s verdict today. It has been clear from day one that Cecily has not received a fair and open trial. The job of a judge during a jury trial isn’t to guide the verdict to fit his opinion. Judge Zweibel, who consistently suppressed evidence, has demonstrated his clear bias by consistently siding with the prosecution. In addition to suppressing evidence, he imposed a gag order on Cecily’s lawyers, which is a clear violation of their 1st Amendment Rights, and placed the burden of proof on the defense, not the prosecution. He is rightly known as ‘a prosecutor in robes’.
The night of the verdict activists met at ZuccottI to peacefully speak out.

Eric McGregor posted some photos from the speak out. 

Free Cecily gathering at Liberty Plaza Taken at Liberty Plaza: The Occupation Of Wall Street
#FreeCecily #Justice4Cecily gathering at #LibertyPlaza
Join us tonight at Liberty Plaza (Formerly Zuccotti Park) to protest the OUTRAGEOUS, LUDICROUS AND UNJUST verdict of 2nd Degree Assault against #OWS activist and #NYPD POLICE BRUTALITY sexual abuse victim Cecily McMillan
Eric McGregor 

I thought after the Rodney King Episode in 1992, when police beat him were not found guilty, that we had turned a corner. But the beat goes on and on and on. Makes me sick to think the system which attacked her now charges her with a crime.  The system continues to support violence. 
The next day, we went out to Walking through Ells Island.  Looking at the photos and stores of those who had crossed through this threshold to make t here,  was reminded of the age long struggles of immigrants’, of laborers, anarchists, abolitionists, and regular people to create a better world. 
On the way there,  thought of the day two years ago when Cecily was assaulted during the March 17th 2012 raid. The day after Erik and I visited the Statue of Liberty during Times Up! Peace Ride, wondering if Emma Lazarus' words still meant anything anymore, i f they still rung true..

this writer looking
 and wondering march 2012 by e mcgregor

These words ran through my mind today, looking at the statue, wondering if her words still rung true.

Its hard to imagine so  right now as Cecily sleeps n Rikers island.

Ellis island 

…[A]narchy offers a crack in history to revisit long forgotten paths…
 it reminds us that what happens in prison matters.

We had a talk about rape and sexual assault in class today.  Over and over, the system places the burden of blame and evidence on those who have been attacked, marginalizing those fighting for a better world.

Cecily's sentencing s May 19th.  Activists citywide will be out n the streets, regardless of the sentence. 

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