[sixties-l] Attica, 30 Years Later

From: radtimes (resist@best.com)
Date: Wed Sep 05 2001 - 15:56:35 EDT

  • Next message: radtimes: "[sixties-l] Rainbow Farm: Neighbors, Friends Shocked"

    Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001
    From: Institute for Public Accuracy <instpa@pacbell.net>
    Subject: Attica, 30 Years Later

    Institute for Public Accuracy
    915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
    (202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org

    Wednesday, September 5, 2001

    Attica, 30 Years Later: Interviews Available

    Next week marks the 30th anniversary of the uprising at Attica prison in
    upstate New York. In 1971, on Sept. 13 -- four days into a rebellion by
    1,281 prisoners demanding humane treatment -- more than 500 state troopers
    assaulted the prison compound, under orders from Gov. Nelson Rockefeller.
    The troopers' gunfire killed 29 inmates as well as 10 guards being held

    Interviews are now available with:

    FRANK "BIG BLACK" SMITH, available@esn.net
    An Attica prisoner 30 years ago, Smith was prominent in the rebellion.
    Immediately after it ended, Smith was among the prisoners who underwent
    torture. After his release from prison, Smith became a paralegal and
    litigant in the lawsuit that resulted in a $12 million settlement with
    prisoners after a 26-year legal battle. Smith said today: "The problem
    isn't just with Attica or with prisons. It's with the foundation these
    prisons are built on: selective prosecution, selective arrest, class,
    racism -- all that. We all have a responsibility to fix the problem. Crime
    bills and sentencing guidelines are part of the problem, but we all bear
    responsibility for finding solutions. We all have to wake up; what you
    don't know can hurt you."

    ELIZABETH FINK, atticuslex@aol.com
    Lead counsel for former Attica prisoners in their civil rights case, Fink
    said today: "Conditions in prisons today are worse than they were at the
    time of Attica. At that time, there were 11 prisons in New York State;
    today there are 90. There were 11,000 prisoners in the state at that time;
    today there are 90,000. Currently, 6.47 million Americans are under some
    form of judicial restraint.... The vast majority of prisoners do not belong
    in prison. They belong in some form of rehabilitation, most in drug
    rehabilitation.... The Attica brothers rebelled because of inhumane
    treatment; the potential for another Attica looms large today."

    TOM TERRIZZI, tterrizzi@plsny.org
    Terrizzi is executive director of Prisoners' Legal Services of New York, a
    private not-for-profit organization providing services to New York State
    inmates. He said today: "One of the positive legacies of the Attica
    rebellion was the establishment of Prisoners' Legal Services of New York,
    which was designed to give inmates a voice and access to the courts to
    address their grievances.... Currently at Attica, major reform has just
    begun in the way mental health services are provided to the seriously
    mentally ill, who often end up in the prison's solitary confinement unit.
    This court-ordered reform came after a 15-year court battle led by PLSNY.
    At the moment, however, the state is likely to terminate a contract with
    PLSNY to provide needed services to inmates, once again leaving the state's
    70,000 prisoners with no meaningful access to the courts."

    DAVID VAN TAYLOR and BRAD LICHTENSTEIN, www.courttv.com/press/attica.html
    Van Taylor is executive producer and Lichtenstein is producer/director of
    "The Ghosts of Attica," a documentary premiering Sept. 9 on Court TV. Van
    Taylor said today: "We had an incredible opportunity to tell some truth
    about a story that continues to unfold. Archival evidence that had never
    been available before became available after the settlement, 30 years after
    the uprising. There was graphic evidence of the assaults and torture
    committed by the state against the inmates; the footage also demonstrated
    the depravity of state officials who went to great lengths to cover up the
    brutality against prisoners and their own guards."

    For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
    Cynthia Skow, (415) 552-5378; Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat Sep 08 2001 - 14:26:40 EDT