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US Government’s Lies About Prison Uprising Fueled Lingering Mistrust

The rebellion began 50 years ago on Sept. 9, 1971, when prisoners took over the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York after years of complaints about the conditions in the prison went unacknowledged. Aside from the inhumane conditions, prisoners alleged that they were subjected to treatment based on race and religion. Fed up with overcrowded prison cells with temperatures that soared during warmer months and froze during wintertime, among other gripes about a basic lack of humane treatment, the disproportionately Black and Hispanic prison population rebelled to take control of the correctional facility for four days. The prisoners took dozens of hostages while they negotiated with officials about their demands.

Prison Strike Organizer Warns: Brutal Prison Conditions Risk “Another Attica”

LAST APRIL, A seven-hour prison riot at South Carolina’s Lee Correctional institution left seven inmates dead and dozens injured. State Corrections Department Director Bryan Stirling cited the source of the riot as “likely gang-related,” but inmates say that it was provoked by overly punitive prison guards who subsequently made no effort to intervene or offer medical aid for hours. It was the deadliest incident in a U.S. prison in 25 years. Many incarcerated people and prisoner advocates attributed the riot to the structural brutality of the prison system itself. In response, prison rights advocacy groups and incarcerated organizers have called for a nationwide prison strike to last from August 21 — the 47th anniversary of revolutionary George Jackson’s death in San Quentin State Prison — to September 9, the anniversary of the Attica Prison riot.

How Power Works

By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig - Heather Ann Thompson’s book “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy” is a detailed study of the inner workings of America. The blueprint for social control employed before and after the crushing of the Attica revolt is the same blueprint used today to keep tens of millions of poor people, especially poor people of color, caged or living in miniature police states. Thompson meticulously documents the innumerable ways the state oppresses the poor...

How Mass Murder At The Attica Prison Is Still Protected

By Heather Ann Thompson in TIME Magazine, It took more than 40 years, but Attica’s survivors and families of the deceased had finally convinced a judge to force the State of New York to release sealed records relating to deaths of some 39 inmates and staff following the 1971 prison uprising. But the documents released May 21 provide little information as to who was responsible for the dead and wounded when state officials decided to forcibly retake the prison, and why no one has been held accountable. This carnage took place at one of America’s most forbidding penal institutions—the Attica State Correctional Facility in upstate New York—where, four days earlier, over 1,200 prisoners had begun a historic protest against abysmal conditions and abuses.
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