We were not the first round of protesters this prison cell had seen. On the beige walls, former residents had scratched "OWS," "love" and an expletive about the police.
At 1 Police Plaza in New York City, our cell was 5-by-7, freezing cold, with a padded bench just long enough for three of us to sit on. A fourth woman was curled on the floor. In the corner, there was a non-functioning sink and a toilet. When one woman needed to use it, we formed a line to block her from the male officers. In the 10 hours I was held, there was one meal: Four slices of bread in soggy Saran wrap, a packet of mayo and a mini carton of milk.
While we were in the cell, after we banged too long and chanted too hard, an officer stared at us. "Look at you people," she said. "What do you hope to accomplish? You brought this on yourselves."
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