Priscilla Grim was swept up in a mass arrest on the night of March 5, more than an hour after some Stop Cop City protesters burned construction equipment in another part of the forest.
Click here to read Stop Cop City: The Fight for a Forest and the Future of American Policing.
New York City digital media activist Priscilla Grim has highlighted the struggles of radical social movements for more than a decade. Since being arrested on March 5 at a Stop Cop City protest encampment and being slapped with domestic terrorism charges, support for Grim and her fellow detainees has gone viral.
The Atlanta Solidarity Fund is aiding her and the other arrestees with their legal cases. Book publishers are sending requested titles. An online fund drive raised enough money to cover the rent for Grim’s Brooklyn apartment after her arrest led to her being fired from her day job as a digital communications specialist at Fordham University.
“We’re so grateful and appreciative for all the support we have received. It’s made things so much less stressful,” her college-age daughter Sophia told The Indypendent.
Grim was one of the founding editors of The Occupied Wall Street Journal, a four-page broadsheet that was widely disseminated at the height of the Occupy movement. Since then, she has managed various Occupy-themed social media accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers.
“Mom’s whole world is Facebook and Twitter,” Sophia said.
The domestic terrorism charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 35 years if convicted, was slapped on arrestees who were alleged to be carrying shields, which is deemed to be violent by the police.
Grim was swept up in a mass arrest on the night of March 5, more than an hour after some Stop Cop City protesters burned construction equipment in another part of the forest. The police were only arresting people with out-of-state IDs, Sophia said, and in their paperwork cited mud on the shoes of the arrestees as probable cause that they had been at the site where the arson occurred. The domestic terrorism charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 35 years if convicted, was added to Grim and 22 other arrestees, who were alleged to be carrying shields, which is deemed to be violent by the police.
Grim turned 49 the following day while she was being held in booking. She and the other arrestees have not yet had a bail hearing as The Indypendent goes to press. The conditions in the DeKalb County Jail women’s unit are poor Sophia said — sparse food, overflowing toilets, no personal visits due to short staffing, paid telephone and video call services that barely function and transgender arrestees being assigned to areas that don’t correspond to their gender. The men’s unit, Sophia said, is reported to be even worse.
Sophia said her mom is making the best of the situation. She watches the sun rise in the morning over Stone Mountain through her window, participates in prayer and meditation circles with other arrestees, reads the books she receives and has shared new techniques for grooming with the other women prisoners and now has her hair done in jail braids.
Grim grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee before moving to New York City more than 20 years ago. “Her Southern accent is back,” Sophia laughs. “Every time I talk to her, there’s like five ‘y’alls’ in every sentence.”
Still the gravity of the situation isn’t lost on Sophia. “They’re just trying to scare my mom and make an example of her,” she said. “I hope she sues the fuck out of them once the charges get dismissed, which I think will happen.”
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