Freedom, Leniency and Pardon Cecily McMillan NOW!
  • Petitioning Governor Andrew Cuomo

This petition will be delivered to:

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Mayor de Blasio
Manhattan District Attorney
Cy Vance
Supreme Court, New York County
Honorable Ronald A. Zweibel

Freedom, Leniency and Pardon Cecily McMillan NOW!

    1. Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
    2. Petition by

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach

      Mt. Arlington, NJ

Justice betrayed! Cecily McMillan is a young woman who was sexually assaulted and then falsely arrested by a NYC police officer! She is a committed social justice advocate with no prior criminal history, yet she was then convicted of assaulting HIM and may be sentenced to seven years in jail?

The court process showed clear bias on the part of Judge Zweibel in favor of the prosecution. Evidence of the officer's prior acts of aggression and falsification of evidence was not allowed.  Video of rampant police brutality against peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters who were gathering just to socialize the night of March 17, 2012 was not allowed.

Cecily is now at RIKER'S with NO BAIL, and has a sentencing hearing on Monday May 19.

She is not an elopement risk! She is a graduate student who plans to write her thesis on Civil Rights leader Bayard Rustin!

The police were not peaceful that night and justice has not been served.  9 of the 12 jurors who sat on the jury to hear her case have even said in writing “We would ask the court to consider probation with community service. We feel that the felony mark on Cecily's record is punishment enough.”

Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have a history of supporting civil rights and civil liberties. How can they allow this to happen in their state?  Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance must surely know that aggressively prosecuting Cecily is a waste of the city’s time and resources. Surely the Honorable Ronald A. Zweibel knows that this incident is not worth ruining a young woman's life or eroding our 1st and 4th Amendment Rights (Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Peaceful Assembly). The Governor can pardon Cecily; but only after many appeals.

I am a Licensed Psychologist (PhD) and a specialist in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is probably what drew me to Cecily's case.  In my work as a psychologist I have heard MANY stories of people sexually abused by people in positions of power -- whether police, doctors, teachers, priests, AND members of my own profession.

My teenage niece was also brutalized by NYC police who violated her civil rights and tried to pin felony charges on her including assaulting a police officer. Eventually everything was dropped; but I will never forget how both the assault and the arrest can impact a young person.  Cecily was arrested for a natural reaction to being sexually assaulted when the plainclothes police officer grabbed her breast from behind. She is not a criminal, nor a danger to anyone.

Cecily’s sentencing is on Monday, May 19, 2014. Please sign this petition to request leniency in this case by granting her probation or time served. 9 of the 12 jurors who convicted Cecily have come forward in writing to say they do not believe she deserves to be jailed. It is now time for all of us to do the same by signing this petition.

To:
Governor Andrew Cuomo
Mayor de Blasio
Cy Vance, Manhattan District Attorney
Honorable Ronald A. Zweibel, Supreme Court, New York County
Freedom, Leniency and Pardon Cecily McMillan NOW

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Cecily Faces Jail for Filming the Police

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      Here is an update from Team Cecily about another trial coming up, seperate from the one you signed for in this petition. You should go to her website to stay abreast and see how to help. Please keep spreading this petition as it will become more important as time goes on and her appeals are heard.

      "Our dear friend Cecily is once again facing jail-time. Her trial is beginning with certainty on Monday, October 6.

      We’ll be in Part 13 (4th Floor) of 100 Centre St. at Manhattan Criminal Court. She has been assigned Judge Ferrara, and we expect the proceedings to be far more expedient than the previous trial. Since it is a misdemeanor trial, the jury will consist of only six people.

      We’ll be packing the courtrooms once again to show support for our friend and comrade!

      For updates, please RSVP to the Facebook event here. We encourage you to share with your networks - together we made a huge impact last time! You can also see updates, news and quotes for the courtroom on the twitter hashtag #Justice4Cecily. Finally, the quickest way to get updates is join our celly - just text @CecilysTrial to 23559!

      If you’re unfamiliar with the details of this case, here’s more information:

      On December 7th, 2013, Cecily McMillan was arrested for attempting to document by video the arrests of a young man and woman in the Union Square subway station. Cecily saw two plainly dressed men begin to abusively confront and interrogate two young Latino people. When she began to question them about the harassment, it turned out the men were police officers who then arrested them. Cecily followed them to the subway precinct, watching to make sure they were not further abused, and began to take a video of the arrest process from outside the precinct doors.

      Cecily was arrested and has been charged with “obstructing governmental administration” even though nothing was obstructed, for the two arrestees were issued summonses and released. Cecily was harassed by police officers, particularly when they found out that she was the OWS protester awaiting trial for allegedly assaulting a police officer. In May of 2014 she was convicted on the assault charges, currently awaiting appeal.

      For this charge, Cecily faces up to a year back on Rikers. The allegations fabricated against her on this charge was also a critical factor to the verdict the jury came out with in the past trial, even though it was completely unsubstantiated. We hope to see you tomorrow to fight to protect our right to film the police and to show your support for Cecily!

      Love and solidarity,

      Paul Funkhouser

    2. Moving forward....Cecily Update!

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      Cecily McMillan has been free from prison several weeks now. It is hoped this petition will help as she goes through the appeals process to overturn her conviction. As expected, her work as an activisit has not stopped. She has come back stronger than ever. We all knew that Cecily's arrest, conviction and incarceration represented far reaching issues...and here is one she has chosen to focus on right now!.

      When Cecily was released from Rikers Island, she was elected by the women she served her time with to represent them in fighting the deplorable conditions in the jail. She's currently working with different organizations that fight for prison justice, and had an op-ed in The New York Times just the other day on her experience. You can read the NY Times article here http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/24/opinion/cecily-mcmillan-on-brutality-and-humiliation-on-rikers-island.html?src=twr&_r=2

      In conjunction with the op-ed, her team of supporters is launching a petition with concrete demands crafted by the inmates to make Rikers Island more tolerable and productive. You can sign at https://youpower.democracyforamerica.com/petitions/staff-at-rikers-island-must-stop-torturing-prisoners.

      You can also find links to this petition at the www.Justice4Cecily.com website. Please invite your friends to sign by sharing this update by email, facebook, twitter, etc.

      Until now I never knew how utterly horrid things were for women at Rikers Island prison. It is safe to assume prison is no picnic anywhere; but we have laws in this country against cruel and inhuman punishment; and the prison system itself has rules about the proper treatment of incarcerated people. It is a DISGRACE that the conditions at Riker's exist in our country, or anywhere.

      Thanks so much for your support and many thanks to the team at Change.org who helped this petition reach so many people. YOUR stories in the comments section are brilliant, inspiring and speak the many truths of people willing to stand up to injustice. You helped lighten her sentence, will help in the future and showed her how much support she had even when in prison under inhumane conditions!

    3. Cecily is free!

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      Cecily McMillan was released from Riker's Island Wed. July 2, 2014. She has taken up the cause of treatment of women prisoners after experiencing and witnessing inhumane and unjust treatment. I suspect we will be seeing and hearing more from this powerful voice for justice. Although she is out of prison, many of us feel she will not truly be free until her conviction is appealed successfully or she is granted a full pardon and the record of her supposed crime is removed. Thank you all for your support and once again, please share on facebook, tweet and email your friends, familiy members and other interested peoople. I would love Cecily to know that 200,000 people signed this petition...and then send it off to the Governor for him to do the right thing. For more updates and how to help, be sure to check out the www.justice4Cecily website.

    4. Need more help! Justice and Pardon now!

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      We are just 11,487 signatures away from hitting a final goal of 200,000 supporters.Truth is, we far surpassed initial estimates weeks ago. Much of the credit goes to all of you who signed and then emailed, facebooked & tweeted your friends, relatives, news articles and other groups to tell them about Cecily McMillan. Her cause has gotten international attention. Its clear from reading the comments that the U.S. is no longer the pillar of human rights we proclaim. Cecily's case is both a personal tragedy for her and a global tragedy for justice, the Bill of Rights, issues of police violence and state sanctioned silencing of political dissent. After seeing the public support for Cecily from this petition, the hard work of her team of supporters, and the letter from 9 of thr 12 jurors, even the prosecutors only wanted her to get probation; but the JUDGE sentenced her to 90 days at Rikers. This petition will soon close. Please take 5 miutes to share some more...we need a pardon ASAP.

    5. Update on the Sentencing of Cecily McMillan

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Friends,,
      Cecily McMillan was sentenced to 90 days plus 5 years probation yesterday. While this is not the freedom we were hoping for, I heard from her legal team that this petition helped keep the public engaged and led to a more lenient sentence compared to the possible seven years Cecily was facing. This petition was specifically mentioned in the New York Times and other influential outlets. Make no mistake, this is not justice, and we will all continue to fight for Cecily. As the legal process continues, the best place to stay up to date is www.JusticeForCecily.com. Register to get the most timely updates from her support committee and find out more wys to help too. Thanks to each of the 180,000 of you who have signed my petition. We had a positive impact on Cecily's case, and and have ensured that this story will not be forgotten. Our struggle continues, but we will march on together! And of course, please keep spreading the link to this petition far and wide. Love, Linda

    6. Reached 175,000 signatures
    7. Call to ACTION Friday 1:45 pm 100 Centre St. NYC Holy Guacamole! 42,000!

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      Members of Cecily's team and I are now feverishly printing out the petition as well as the tens of thousands of signatures. I simply MUST thank Pulin at Change.org and his team for helping light a fire under this and ALL of you who signed, shared, tweeted and offered advice and support. Tomorrow at 1:45 pm the Petition along with the tens of thousands of petition supporter names will be delivered to 100 Centre St. NYC. The 1000 pages of comments alone (not signatures...just your wonderful brilliant comments) have deeply moved me and we will share just a small portion of them tomorrow as well. Please join us to demand JUSTICE FOR CECILY! With love and solidarity, Linda.

    8. Reached 40,000 signatures
    9. Crunch Time! 24,2327 signatures! Need 763 more!

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      Today is the day! I need all of you to blast this petition everywhere you can using this website's Invite Friends, Tweet and email features. Even if you have done this once, do it again! You never know which people may have misssed it the first time but will see it this time and sign it (then dshare it). You can also post it to the comments section of news articles you see online and to any other group you belong to! The tiny link to the petition i http://tinyurl.com/justice4cecily. The team at www.Justice4Cecily.com is busy at work with a letter writing campaign to the judge so please check out their website and help. Finally, a great big THANK YOU to al of you who have helped with this petition. Stay posted for updates about when the petition and its 700 pages of sgnatutre and an additiomal 200 page of commemts wi;l beofeliverd. You can come to NYC to join in our crusade or watch it on all on livrestream

    10. Big News and 23000 Signatures!

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      When I wake tomorrow we will have passed 23,000 signatures. Notice a few changes in this petition? I was flooded with amazing advice from many of you, her supporters. I learned that Cecily can only be pardoned after 3 appeals which takes A LONG TIME! We want Cecily out of prison NOW so asking for Freedom and Leniancy was added. The petition will also now go to the Governor, Mayor, District Attorney and the Judge since all of them have a say in leniancy and freedom. You will notice changes in photos used so as not to trigger trauma responses when people see the petition for the first time. A suggestion was also made to add a section about why I personally made this petition so there is a bit about my perspective as a Psychololgist and involvement with OWS. There isn't much time left for us to really GROW this petition. Will each of you to PLEASE use the INVITE FRIENDS, EMAIL and TWITTER features right here (do it now) on the change.org site to spread this petition like wild fire!

    11. Hello Australia!

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      Tonight I notice that news of Cecily's plight has spread internationally with lots of signatures from Australia, Singapore and other places far from NY. THANK YOU. Each of us must spread ths petition as much as possible. The Whole World is Watching! Thank you all also for the wonderful comments. This petition is going places. Plans are in place to REALLY bring it alive, and your comments will be a part of history--the history of efforts to preseve human rights in the U.S. and say we will not tolerate polie violence and the use of women's bodies to suppress civil dissent.

    12. Reached 20,000 signatures
    13. We broke 19,000! Here's your 3 minute update on Cecily

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      Wow! Your help in siging and spreading this petition shows "'How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world" (Anne Frank). We just passed 19,000 signatures and will be increasing the goal to 25K. Cecily's team met last night to plan a series of actions and events. Check out the website www.justice4Cecily.com for Ways to Help. This petition has momentum because of the help of people like YOU. Here's an easy 3 minute task today to really BOOST these signatures before Monday's Justice4Cecily's press conference and rally! Many of us belong to other organizations or are facebook fans with various activist groups or organizations. Please share Cecily's story and a link to this petition on at least ONE of your other online hangouts. The tiny url for this petition is http://tinyurl.com/justice4cecily and of course you are welcome to post it to as many places as you like and tweet, tweet, tweet tweet! Thank you SO MUCH. Love, Linda

    14. Reached 17,500 signatures
    15. 17,000 and going strong! Here's your 3 minute action of the Day

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      Wow we surpassed 17,400! I have requested a pdf file of the petition, signatures, etc and Change.org says it is 436 pages (I think I'm gonna need a bigger box of paper). I will do this again when the petition is ready to be delivered but wanted a hard copy accessible in case it "disappers." Meanwhile, here are 2 quick things you can do today. Please go to the website of any major news organization (ie cnn.org, www.abcnews.com). They have a link to "Breaking News". Share Cecily's story and how judicial overreach denied this nonviolent woman bail AGAIN.. Then search for an article on Cecily on their site and post this petition's url. If you are in NY, don't forget to attend cecily's "Nrext Step" gathering. Direct action is coming.

    16. Take 3 minutes to help Cecily

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      Yesterday we hit 16,000 signatures. To our horror, bail was AGAIN denied to Cecily. We must do more to help. The petition will be delivered with appropriate pomp and circumstance next week. Meanwhile, we need to reach 20,000 signatures. We also need to inform VIP's that this is happening. Please email your views and the link to this petition to the following: 1) NY Attorney General civil.rights@ag.ny.gov 2) Attorney General -tell him to investigate Judge Sweibel NYAG.Pressoffice@ag.ny.gov 3) Most important --- email the Governor! gov.cuomo@chamber.state.ny.us

    17. Reached 15,000 signatures
    18. Tweet the Manhattan DA

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      You can tweet the link to this petition http://tinyurl.com/justice4cecily to The Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance at https://twitter.com/ManhattanDA

      Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill DeBlasio: Governor Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio, Pardon Cecily McMillan NOW!

      Justice betrayed! A woman is sexually assaulted and then falsely arrested by a NYC police officer! She is then convicted of assaulting HIM? The...

    19. Let's Go Viral- Respectful, Responsible and Relentless!

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      I am getting so many great suggestions from supporters like you. Today we will reach 15,000 signatures but we can double that if people take just a few minutes each day to spread the word and petition to mainstream media and public officials by email, tweet, facebook post, and phone calls. Let all of them know The People United Will Never Be Defeated. Today I have asked all of you to tweet the petitiom to Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance. Please use your good judgement (and best language and spelling) in sharing your views and the petition--we need to be Respectful, Responsible and Relentless!

    20. Reached 12,500 signatures
    21. Over 9500! Wow!

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      Cecily's petition has over 9500 signatures. Thank you all for signing and for spreading it. KEEP it going PLEASE! Members of Cecily's team have suggested we reset the goal to 15,000. If ALL of you do a bit to share it beyond facebook & twitter but also to other groups you belong too, churches, synagoues, mosques, hobbies, civic organizations, facebook "groups", your job, etc. we can do it! Her team is deciding how best to proceed. Also, Change.org may ask if you want to "promote" the petition. This promotes the petition's visability to people who are signing other petitions but might be unaware of Cecily's situation. The amount it costs ($25-$100 I think) determines how much Chnage.org "promotes it." In no way am I implying that anyone SHOULD do this (I haven't--I donated to her personal fund and NLG) but THANK YOU to whoever did pay to "promote" the petition yesterday and it certainly would be great if anyone else is inclined. Love, Linda

    22. Reached 9,000 signatures
    23. WOW!

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      We hit 2000 and the goal was raised to 3000! We hit 3000 and now the gial is 5000! Cecily's team is now involved (I was just sort of a helpless bystander until this petition). I thank all of YOU who have shared on facebook emailed friends, tweeted, posted on other social media, posted in comments sections on news reports, and more...We are going to keep going and make a loud (but legal) BANG with this so all you can do to keep circulating this petition is appreciated.

    24. Reached 4,000 signatures
    25. Almost to goal!

      Dr. Linda Busch-Somach
      Petition Organizer

      We need less than 500 more signatures to reach the 2000 mark! Thank you all for spreading the word. Keep it up. The faster we get this done the sooner the petition can be properly delivered to the Mayor and Governor. Sharing it with any well known publi figures is particularly helpful. Thank you all. #Justice4Cecily

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Victor Saber RUSTON, LA
      • 13 days ago

      Because those police officers are obviously corrupt bastards, and shame on the Justice System for allowing this!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rick Pauley YUKON, OK
      • 18 days ago

      why is this not on CNN

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bob Massaro LOVELAND, CO
      • 18 days ago

      PLEASE reconsider this case!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • D Ashford WOODSTOCK, NY
      • 19 days ago

      Police officers should be held accountable for wrong actions and innocent people should not be falsely charged.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lawrence Leske SAN CARLOS, CA
      • 19 days ago

      The most important job for a judge is to protect the rights of citizens, not law enforcement.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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