Remembering Attica

Moorbey'z Blog

by Clarence B. Jones, co-written with Stuart Connelly

Sept. 9, 2013, marks the 42th anniversary of the prison uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Forty-two men, mostly inmates, were killed in the armed retaking of the prison under the orders of Gov. Nelson Rockefeller.

Attica rebellion 0971 by AP
Attica rebellion leaders, by forging multi-racial solidarity back in September 1971, set the tone for subsequent prisoner protests, including the current mass hunger strike in California, countering prison officials’ exacerbation of racial tensions in an effort to divide and conquer. – Photo: AP

I was there, as one of the “observers” specifically requested by the inmates. I, along with Tom Wicker, then associate editor and columnist for the New York Times; Bobby Seale, chairman of the Oakland-based Black Panthers; Bill Kunstler, noted civil rights attorney; and others tried to negotiate a peaceful, non-violent settlement of the dispute.



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