Re: "Underground" documentary/Attica (fwd)

jo grant (
Thu, 16 May 1996 14:50:11 -0400

> 2) .... there was mention of Attica and it reminded me
> that the 25th anniversary of the ATtica rebellion is in a few months. Does
> anyone know of anything being done to commemorate this event?
> Andi

When the prisoners took control of Attica prison, three of us (Warren
Levicoff, photographer; Meri Lea, artist and writer, and me) from the
Prisoners Digest International, one of the many underground newspapers from
the Vietnam Era, were discussing the issues of prisoners'
rights--particularly prisoners in Attica and other New York state prisons,
who were subjected to conditions that were barbaric.
While we were on the air a group of Muslims and Panthers arrived and
announced that hostages had been taken and the siege was underway.
As usual, we were driving and generating small amounts of income for travel
and the publication with speaking engagements. One of the Panthers slipped
us a credit card wich we gave to Warren so he cold get there quickly and
establish a record photographically. He arrived at the prison just ahead of
Bill Kunstler and Herman Schwartz.
Meri Lea and I drove and arrived a few hours later. Early enough to beat
the mass of media people and rent the house of an older retired couple who
lived up the street from the prison.
There is so much that was never covered by the mainstream media. I know
there are people out there with stories that should be shared.
For example:
Warren was the fellow who followed the bodies to the coroner's office and
waited in the cold for saeven hours and broke the news that every dead
guard had been killed by bullets (none of the prisoners had guns). Previous
to that information the warden and the director of corrections had been
telling the world, through the established media, that the guards had not
only been killed by the prisoners, but that the prisoners had mutilated the
When they announced that outside the prison, and we called them Goddamed
liars, we were almost lynched.
Painful, frightening times.
This might be a good time to put the Attica issues on the web. I'm sure
there are profs out there who could use an update.
The anniversary shouldn't be allowed to pass again--unnoticed.

joe grant