Prison Uprisings, From Attica to Today – Tim Barker / Dissent

attica-2-jpgreSince September 9, thousands of prisoners in at least twenty-four states across the country have joined a series of strikes and protests demanding “an end to prison slavery.” The wave of strikes, now entering its fifth week, was timed to coincide with the forty-fifth anniversary of the 1971 Attica Prison uprising, which left twenty-nine inmates and ten hostages dead after a brutal raid by state troopers.

Heather Ann Thompson’s Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy is the first comprehensive history of this pivotal civil rights struggle and the lengths to which the state went to repress it. Here, Thompson discusses how the story came to light, and what it means for prison organizing today. —Editors

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