END MASS INCARCERATION AND CLOSE ATTICA
September 18, 2012
For immediate release
Contact: Lewis Webb 212 598-0965
Debrow 718 849-6886
Following on what
organizers describe as a hugely successful community gathering of over 2000
people at Riverside Church, a coalition of sponsoring groups is calling for a
meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo at his New York office on September 26 to
discuss shutting down the notorious Attica Correctional Facility.
also plans to deliver thousands of petitions at noon that day asking Cuomo to
"take a principled stance against one of our country's most enduring symbols of
brutality and racism", and mass incarceration, by closing the prison.
The petition goes
on to say that "closing Attica would not resolve larger systemic problems, but
would be a first step on the part of New York State to address the widespread
violations of basic human rights that exist throughout the prison system".
Attica was the scene
of a four-day protest by its men prisoners in 1971 demanding that their basic
human and civil rights be respected. The protest ended in a massacre by the New
York State Police which left 39 people dead, including ten guards, after the
then-governor, Nelson Rockefeller, refused to negotiate with the residents.
Last year the
Correctional Association of New York (CANY) issued a report which described
conditions at Attica as the same as in 1971. Among other items, the report
noted that the incidence of violence among the men and staff at Attica was far
higher than at other New York prisons. The Association recommended that the
facility be shut down.
mentions that while Cuomo has closed some prisons, he has not shuttered any
maximum security facilities, where most of the brutality and violence occur. It
ends by saying that "if we are committed to humanity, respecting the lives of
those lost in 1971, and the many brutalized today, we must close Attica".
One of the
organizers of the petition delivery notes that September 26 is Yom Kippur, the
Day of Atonement. He goes on to say, "It's only fitting that we are doing this
on that day because the State of New York has never atoned for its actions in
1971 or its failure since then to address the root causes of that uprising.
Together with the event at Riverside, this could be the beginning of a real
movement to close Attica and end mass incarceration in the State of New York".
--Mumia is Innocent! Stop the Frame Up! Free Mumia!--
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