This upcoming Thursday, September 9th, marks 50 years since the Attica prison rebellion, a devastating event which became foundational to the modern anti-prison movement.
Many NLG Chapters and Committees are hosting or supporting events in commemoration of the Attica rebellion. The NLG is also proud to be an endorser of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak‘s Shut ’em Down demonstrations.
Keep reading for details on upcoming events and how you can plug into calls for prison abolition!
NLG Chapter and Committee Events
JLS Shut ‘Em Down Demonstrations
Please note: the following events are not officially organized by NLG Chapters or Committees, but are a part of the national Shut ‘Em Down demonstrations, called for by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and endorsed by the National Lawyers Guild.
This is not an exhaustive list of rallies; different local events have varying levels of publicity due to safety and security assessments. We are re-sharing events which are already publicly accessible. We linked to registration where applicable, but some events primarily have information on social media. Twitter links will work even if you don’t have a Twitter account.
What is the Attica prison rebellion?
From the Attica is All of Us website:
[Trigger warning for descriptions of police violence]
In September of 1971, an uprising by the incarcerated men of Attica, a maximum security prison located in western New York, ended in the bloodiest attack by state authorities in United States history.
On September 9th, thirteen hundred incarcerated men had rebelled due to inhumane prison conditions, taking over the prison, and holding forty guards hostage. After issuing a list of demands—including calls for improvements in living conditions and medical care, religious freedom, and educational and training opportunities—they entered into negotiations with state officials. The State unilaterally ended the negotiations and Governor Rockefeller ordered an armed attack against the defenseless men. In the course of the brutal highly militarized take over, State police and guards slaughtered thirty-nine individuals, including ten hostages, but it was deliberately and falsely reported by the State that the hostages had their throats slashed by the men who had rebelled. After the massacre there was systematic brutality, torture of the men, selective punishment and isolation of alleged rebellion leaders.
The Attica rebellion played a foundational role in the development of today’s anti-prison movements.