[NetBehaviour] Attica is All of Us: (fwd)

{ brad brace } bbrace at eskimo.com
Mon Aug 29 21:32:52 CEST 2011

---------- Forwarded message ----------

   1. Jalil Muntaqim - from Attica about the 40-year Anniversary
      (Political Prisoner News)

Attica is All of Us:

On February 10, 2011, I arrived at Attica for the third time
during my 40 year incarceration. As soon as I entered the
reception room, I heard a Correctional Officer announce to
all the other prisoners: ?What you heard about Attica is
true.  We don?t care what you do to each other, but if any
of you touch one of us, we will put you in the hospital or
worse ? welcome to Attica!? Since being here, I am aware of
7 prisoners who suffered a beat down by guards, and the
Superintendent here knows what is going on, yet fails to
curtail the level of violence against prisoners.

In essence, Attica today is pre-September 9th-11th, 1971,
where prisoners are controlled by fear and terror. The only
Black Captain, apparently sent here for the purpose of
overseeing the madness of Attica, is only capable of
intervening when on site. As soon as he is gone, the guards
return to their racist deadly antics. This is not to blanket
all white guards at Attica as racist, but when there is an
institutional culture of racism, fear and terror, it is
difficult for a humane guard to not jeopardize his own
safety; this includes the few Black officers in this prison.

Why? One of the reasons is because these Correctional
Officers, beyond the innate racism, fear another
insurrection that will cause ?state sanctioned killing,? as
when former NYS Governor Nelson Rockefeller ordered State
Troopers and Guards to open fire, massacring 41 prisoners
and guards. Therefore, fear, terror and brutality are the
measure of their false safety and security, none of which is
a secret to the authorities in Albany.

In September 1971, there was a vibrant progressive and
revolutionary movement in this country. The prison movement
reflected the fight- back determination of young people
believing they could create a better world. On the streets
there was a movement, and in prison there was a movement. No
such animal exists today, at least nowhere near the level of
the late 60?s and early 70?s. Then there were ?Free
Political Prisoner?  campaigns going on, from the Free Huey,
Free Angela, Free the Panther 21, Free the Soledad Brothers,
Free San Quentin Six campaigns that forged a national
consciousness of fight back. No such broad political
consciousness or campaign exists today. Hence, today?s
prisoners reflect the drug and gang culture, much of which
includes functional illiterates. Therefore, correctional
personnel are not worried about these prisoners fighting
back physically or legally. Some of the largest gains of
civil rights for prisoners were in the 60?s and 70?s, when
prisoners filed a multitude of lawsuits and had the
assistance of progressive legal organizations. Today, the
Supreme Court has severely restricted prisoners?  ability to
file lawsuits and win.

The absent dynamic of a vibrant prison movement negatively
impacts the capacity of prisoners to fight. Absent both
community and legal support, in a confined repressive
environment, prisoners can only be expected to survive, and
try and make it home alive. Attica, Comstock, Clinton and
other NYS maximum security prisons suffer the same reality,
all of which tells All of Us of our collective failure.

It is my sincere hope, on this 40th Year commemoration of
Attica, that NYC?s activists recognize what for many inside
prison seems to be abandonment. That they will decide to
recognize the work that needs to be done to help restore the
capacity for all of us to fight back for freedom!

Jalil A. Muntaqim

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977



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