September 9-13, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the Attica Prison Rebellion. In 1971, united around demands for better healthcare, education and against unrestrained violence by the state, over 1200 incarcerated people of all races rebelled, took hostages and occupied parts of Attica Prison. For four days, prisoners worked collectively to negotiate the end of the inhumane conditions at the prison. An invasion by the New York State Police Troopers ordered by Governor Rockefeller resulted in the deaths of 43 people - 33 prisoners and 10 correctional officers. 49 years later, Attica serves as a rallying cry for those working for self determination inside of prison walls, an essential lesson in state violence and an enduring symbol of resistance and unity.
Today the conditions in U.S. prisons are more barbaric than in 1971 with massive overcrowding, extreme sentencing, gendered violence, and a health care crisis made much worse by the COVID pandemic. The lessons of Attica are as important as ever. Join The California Coalition for Women Prisoners and the Freedom Archives as we host a panel discussing the historical legacy of the Attica Prison Rebellion, sustaining resistance behind bars and how Attica can inform the ways we fight back!
Romarilyn Ralston - Lead Policy Analyst, formerly incarcerated, California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Paul Redd Formerly incarcerated organizer and one of the leaders of historic 2011-2013 CA prison hunger strikes
Michael Deutsch one of the main lawyers for the Attica prisoners following the 1971 uprising
Recorded - Tuesday, September 8, 2020 · Hosted by California Coalition for Women Prisoners and the Freedom Archives.