Monday, September 12, 2011


And we do not intend to be beaten and driven as such.

Millions heard 21-year-old L.D. Barkley read this powerful statement from the D Block of Attica State Penitentiary in upstate New York. 1,200 inmates had seized parts of the prison, taken guards as hostages and let the world see the ugly hellhole reality of America’s prisons.
The Attica Brothers demanded to be treated as human beings. They dared to rise up, to lift their heads and the loftiest of them dreamed of a different way things might be. For 4 days the prisoners controlled D Block; they overcame differences between Blacks, whites, and Latinos; they shared what provisions they had among themselves and with the hostages; they did not engage in acts of revenge against guards who had been instruments of this system’s brutality against them; and, they spoke of liberation, unity and revolution. Hearts surged with pride and inspiration as the prisoners showed the world they were far, far more human than New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, and the system he represented. And how did this system deal with the courageous heartfelt yearnings from those at the very bottom of this society?
On September 13, 1971 the order was given. State police opened fire killing 38 people, including 10 prison guards. L.D. Barkley was cold bloodedly assassinated by police, two shotgun blasts in the back as he lay face down with his hands behind his head. Other leaders were sought out and tortured or murdered. The Attica Rebellion was savagely crushed, but the message of Attica had reached and inspired people around the world. And now more than ever, with 2.5 million behind bars in this country, the spirit of the Attica Rebellion must be remembered and learned from!
Somebody write a poem, or sing a song, or raise a fist! Attica Means Fight Back! Somebody say it loud and mean it. “This system will not be allowed to steal another generation of our youth and condemn them to its dungeons.”  Join others who feel this way.
Tuesday, September 13th
40th Anniversary Commemorative March and Rally
Start:   3:00-3:30 pm      St. Nicholas Park 135th & St. Nicholas Ave
Rally:   4:45 pm               Adam Clayton Powell Blvd and 125th
Rally:    5:30 pm              125th and Amsterdam Ave  
Coming next month:   STOP “Stop & Frisk” Day   
Contact the:  “Stop Mass Incarceration:  We’re Better Than That! Network”

Steve Yip, P.O. Box 941, Knickerbocker Station, New York, New York 10002-0900 * 866-841-9139

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