On Sept. 9, 1971, 1,200 prisoners in Attica Prison in upstate New York seized control, taking 38 prison guards hostage. For four days, the “Attica Brothers” controlled D-yard. Americans were glued to their televisions as prisoners issued a call to people on the outside to support their stand.
The Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, Drug Policy Alliance, the Culture Project, the Nation and the Brecht Forum will present an evening of music, performances and conversation to commemorate the anniversary of the Attica rebellion and massacre. Current prison issues will also be discussed. The event is free to the public and will be held at the Riverside Church at 7 p.m.
The list of poets, journalists, activists and community leaders who will speak include Amiri Baraka, Cornel West and former Black Panther Jamal Joseph. Attica Brothers Joseph Harris, Calvin “Hutch” Hutchinson, William Anthony Maynard, Melvin Muhammad, Carlos Roche and Al Hajji Sharif will recall the events that led to the largest prison uprising in U.S. history.
In addition, on Tuesday, Sept. 13, the Stop Mass Incarceration: We’re Better Than This! Network will take the legacy of Attica to the streets of the Harlem community. The commemorative march and rally starts at 3 p.m. in St. Nicholas Park.