[Pnews] The Attica Liberation Faction Manifesto of Demands and Anti-Depression Platform - 1971

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Aug 18 23:01:23 EDT 2021


MANIFESTO: The Attica Liberation Faction Manifesto of Demands and 
Anti-Depression Platform, 1971
<https://blackagendareport.com/manifesto-attica-liberation-faction-manifesto-demands-and-anti-depression-platform-1971>

<https://blackagendareport.com/manifesto-attica-liberation-faction-manifesto-demands-and-anti-depression-platform-1971> 

18 Aug 2021- 
https://blackagendareport.com/manifesto-attica-liberation-faction-manifesto-demands-and-anti-depression-platform-1971 
<https://blackagendareport.com/manifesto-attica-liberation-faction-manifesto-demands-and-anti-depression-platform-1971>

<mailto:?subject=MANIFESTO: The Attica Liberation Faction Manifesto of 
Demands and Anti-Depression Platform, 1971 &body=NewsClick - 
http://blackagendareport.com/manifesto-attica-liberation-faction-manifesto-demands-and-anti-depression-platform-1971> 

MANIFESTO: The Attica Liberation Faction Manifesto of Demands and 
Anti-Depression Platform, 1971 
<https://blackagendareport.com/sites/default/files/2021-08/Attica%201.jpg>
MANIFESTO: The Attica Liberation Faction Manifesto of Demands and 
Anti-Depression Platform, 1971

/Remembering the Attica prisoner demands as the 50th anniversary 
approaches./

MANIFESTO: The Attica Liberation Faction Manifesto of Demands and 
Anti-Depression Platform, 1971

Editors, The Black Agenda Review

On September 9, 1971, two weeks after the murder of George Jackson at 
San Quentin State Prison, 1,281 men incarcerated in New York State’s 
Attica Correctional Facility began one of the most significant prison 
uprisings in U.S. history. For four days, the prisoners had control of 
Attica, holding 42 members of the prison staff hostage. They attempted 
to negotiate with the state and prison authorities for improved living 
conditions and the expansion of their political rights. Their demands 
were enumerated in “The Attica Liberation Faction Manifesto of Demands 
and Anti-Depression Platform.” The Manifesto is a remarkable document. 
It offers a harrowing view behind the prison walls, describing a place 
where violence, torture, and punitive deprivations are routine. It also 
shows a profound historical awareness of a shift in penology from a 
philosophy or rehabilitation to one of mere punishment, and the 
transformation of the prison from a place of reform to a “concentration 
camp.” Moreover, as a document collectively produced by the prison 
rebels themselves, it reflects a radical democratic practice and a 
defiant and bold assertion of humanity by people living in conditions 
that were meant to make them inhuman.

New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller refused to accede to the prisoner’s 
demand. On September 13, 1971, after four days of negotiations, he 
ordered state police to take back control of the prison. In a bloody 
spectacle of tear gas and bulletins, they stormed Attica killing more 
than 43 people, including thirty inmates. The rebellion was crushed.

As part of The Black Agenda Review’s continued commemoration of Black 
August, we “The Attica Liberation Faction Manifesto of Demands and 
Anti-Depression Platform.”

THE ATTICA LIBERATION FACTION MANIFESTO OF DEMANDS AND ANTI-DEPRESSION 
PLATFORM

WE, THE IMPRISONED MEN OF ATTICA PRISON, SEEK AN END TO THE INJUSTICE 
SUFFERED BY ALL PRISONERS REGARDLESS OF RACE, CREED OR COLOR.

THE PREPARATION AND CONTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED UNDER 
THE UNIFIED EFFORTS OF ALL RACES AND SOCIAL SEGMENTS OF THIS PRISON.

IT IS A MATTER OF DOCUMENTED RECORD AND HUMAN RECOGNITION THAT THE 
ADMINISTRATION OF THE NEW YORK PRISON SYSTEM HAVE RESTRUCTURED THE 
INSTITUTIONS WHICH WERE DESIGNED TO SOCIALLY CORRECT MEN INTO THE 
FASCIST CONCENTRATION CAMPS OF MODERN AMERICA.

DUE TO THE CONDITIONAL FACT THAT ATTICA PRISON IS ONE OF THE MOST 
CLASSIC INSTITUTIONS OF AUTHORITATIVE INHUMANITY UPON MEN. THE FOLLOWING 
MANIFESTO OF DEMANDS [IS] BEING SUBMITTED:

We, the inmates of Attica Prison, have grown to recognize beyond the 
shadow of a doubt, that because of our posture as prisoners and branded 
characters as alleged criminals, the administration and prison employees 
no longer consider or respect us as human beings, but rather as 
domesticated animals selected to do their bidding in slave labor and 
furnished as a personal whipping dog for their sadistic, psychopathic hate.

We, the inmates of Attica Prison, say to you, the sincere people of 
society, the prison system of which your courts have rendered unto is 
without question the authoritative fangs of a coward in power.

Respectfully submitted to the people as a protest to the vile and 
vicious slave masters:

The Governor of New York State

The N.Y.S. Department of Corrections

The N.Y.S. Legislature

The N.Y.S. Courts

The United States Courts

The N.Y.S. Parole Board

And those who support this system of injustice.

The inmates this prison have vested the power of negotiation regarding 
the settlement of the stipulated demands within the judgement and 
control of these men:

Donald Noble 26777

Peter Butler 26018

Frank Lott 26148

Carl Jones-El 24534

Herbert Blyden X. 22480

All and any negotiation will be conducted by prison and state 
authorities with these five men.

These demands are being presented to you. There is no strike of any kind 
to protest these demands. We are trying to do this in a democratic 
fashion. We feel there is no need to dramatize our demands.

We, the men of Attica Prison, have been committed to the New York State 
Department of Corrections by the people of society for the purpose of 
correcting what has been deemed as social errors in behavior. Errors 
which have classified us as socially unacceptable until reprogrammed 
with new values and more thorough understanding as to our values and 
responsibilities as members of the outside community. The Attica Prison 
program in its structure and conditions have been enslaved on the pages 
of this Manifesto of Demands with the blood, sweat, and tears of the 
inmates of this prison.

The program which we are submitted to under the façade of 
rehabilitation are relative to the ancient stupidity of pouring water on 
a drowning man, inasmuch as we are treated for our hostilities by our 
program administrators with their hostility as medication.

In our efforts to comprehend on a feeling level an existence contrary to 
violence, we are confronted by our captors with what is fair and just, 
we are victimized by the exploitation and the denial of the celebrated 
due process of law.

In our peaceful efforts to assemble in dissent as provided under this 
nation’s United States constitution, we are in turn murdered, 
brutalized, and framed on various criminal charges because we seek the 
rights and privileges of all American people.

In our efforts to intellectually expand in keeping with the outside 
world, through all categories of news media, we are systematically 
restricted and punitively remanded to isolation status when we insist on 
our human rights to the wisdom of awareness.

MANIFESTO OF DEMANDS

 1.

    WE DEMAND the constitutional rights of legal representation at the
    time of all parole board hearings and the protection from the
    procedures of the parole authorities whereby they permit no
    procedural safeguards such as an attorney for cross-examination of
    witnesses, witnesses in behalf of the parolee, at parole revocation
    hearings.

 2.

    WE DEMAND a change in medical staff and medical policy and
    procedure. The Attica Prison hospital is totally inadequate,
    understaffed, and prejudiced in the treatment of inmates. There are
    numerous “mistakes” made many times; improper and erroneous
    medication is given by untrained personnel. We also demand
    periodical check-ups on all prisoners and sufficient licensed
    practitioners 24 hours a day instead of inmates’ help that is used now.

 3.

    WE DEMAND adequate visiting conditions and facilities for the inmate
    and families of Attica prisoners. The visiting facilities at the
    prison are such as to preclude adequate visiting for inmates and
    their families.

 4.

    WE DEMAND an end to the segregation of prisoners from the mainline
    popu- lation because of their political beliefs. Some of the men in
    segregation units are confined there solely for political reasons
    and their segregation from other inmates is indefinite.

 5.

    WE DEMAND an end to the persecution and punishment of prisoners who
    practice the Constitutional Right of peaceful dissent. Prisoners at
    Attica and other New York prisons cannot be compelled to work as
    these prisons were built for the purpose of housing prisoners and
    there is no mention as to the prisoners being required to work on
    prison jobs in order to remain in the mainline population and/or be
    considered for release. Many prisoners believe their labor power is
    being exploited in order for the state to increase its economic
    power and to continue to expand its correctional industries (which
    are million-dollar complexes), yet do not develop working skills
    acceptable for employment in the outside society, and which do not
    pay the prisoner more than an average of forty cents a day. Most
    prisoners never make more than fifty cents a day. Prisoners who
    refuse to work for the outrageous scale, or who strike, are punished
    and segregated without the access to the privileges shared by those
    who work; this is class legislation, class division, and creates
    hostilities within the prison.

 6.

    WE DEMAND an end to political persecution, racial persecution, and
    the denial of prisoner’s rights to subscribe to political papers,
    books, or any other educational and current media chronicles that
    are forwarded through the U.S. Mail.

 7.

    WE DEMAND that industries be allowed to enter the institutions and
    employ inmates to work eight hours a day and fit into the category
    of workers for scale wages. The working conditions in prisons do not
    develop working incentives parallel to the many jobs in the outside
    society, and a paroled prisoner faces many contradictions of the job
    that add to his difficulty in adjusting. Those industries outside
    who desire to enter prisons should be allowed to enter for the
    purpose of employment placement.

 8.

    WE DEMAND that inmates be granted the right to join or form labor
    unions.

 9.

    WE DEMAND that inmates be granted the right to support their own
    families; at present, thousands of welfare recipients have to divide
    their checks to support their imprisoned relatives, who without
    outside support, cannot even buy toilet articles or food. Men
    working on scale wages could support themselves and families while
    in prison.

10.

    WE DEMAND that correctional officers be prosecuted as a matter of
    law for any act of cruel and unusual punishment where it is not a
    matter of life and death.

11.

    WE DEMAND that all institutions using inmate labor be made to
    conform with the state and federal minimum wage laws.

12.

    WE DEMAND an end to the escalating practice of physical brutality
    being perpetrated upon the inmates of New York State prisons.

13.

    WE DEMAND the appointment of three lawyers from the New York State
    Bar Association to full-time positions for the provision of legal
    assistance to inmates seeking post-conviction relief, and to act as
    a liaison between the administration and inmates for bringing
    inmates’ complaints to the attention of the administration.

14.

    WE DEMAND the updating of industry working conditions to the
    standards provided for under New York State law.

15.

    WE DEMAND the establishment of inmate worker’s insurance plan to
    pro- vide compensation for work-related accidents.

16.

    WE DEMAND the establishment of unionized vocational training
    programs comparable to that of the Federal Prison System which
    provides for union instructions, union pay scales, and union
    membership upon completion of the vocational training course.

17.

    WE DEMAND annual accounting of the inmates Recreational Fund and
    formulation of an inmate committee to give inmates a voice as to how
    such funds are used.

18.

    WE DEMAND that the present Parole Board appointed by the Governor be
    eradicated and replaced by the parole board elected by popular vote
    of the people. In a world where many crimes are punished by
    indeterminate sentences and where authority acts within secrecy and
    within vast discretion and given heavy weight to accusations by
    prison employees against in- mates, inmates feel trapped unless they
    are willing to abandon their desire to be independent men.

19.

    WE DEMAND that the state legislature create a full-time salaried
    board of overseers for the State Prisons. The board would be
    responsible for evaluating allegations made by inmates, their
    families, friends and lawyers against employers charged with acting
    inhumanely, illegally or unreasonably. The board should include
    people nominated by a psychological or psychiatric association, by
    the State Bar Association or by the Civil Liberties Union and by
    groups of concerned involved laymen.

20.

    WE DEMAND an immediate end to the agitation of race relations by the
    prison administration of this State.

21.

    WE DEMAND that the Dept. of Corrections furnish all prisoners with
    the services of ethnic counselors for the needed special services of
    the Brown and Black population of this prison.

22.

    WE DEMAND an end to the discrimination in the judgment and quota of
    parole for Black and Brown people.

23.

    WE DEMAND that all prisoners be present at the time their cells and
    property are being searched by the correctional officers of state
    prisons.

24.

    WE DEMAND an end to the discrimination against prisoners when they
    appear before the Parole Board. Most prisoners are denied parole
    solely be- cause of their prior records. Life sentences should not
    confine a man longer than 10 years as 7 years is the considered
    statute for a lifetime out of circulation, and if a man cannot be
    rehabilitated after a maximum of ten years of constructive programs,
    etc., then he belongs in a mental hygiene center, not a prison.

25.

    WE DEMAND that better food be served to the inmates. The food is a
    gastronomical disaster. We also demand that drinking water be put on
    each table and that each inmate be allowed to take as much food as
    he wants and as much bread as he wants, instead of the severely
    limited portions and limited (4) slices of bread. Inmates wishing a
    pork-free diet should have one, since 85% of our diet is pork meat
    or pork-saturated food.

26.

    WE DEMAND an end to the unsanitary conditions that exist in the mess
    hall: i.e., dirty trays, dirty utensils, stained drinking cups and
    an end to the practice of putting food on the tables hours before
    eating time without any protective covering over it.

27.

    WE DEMAND that there be one set of rules governing all prisons in
    this state instead of the present system where each warden makes
    rules for his institution as he sees fit.

IN CONCLUSION

We are firm in our resolve and we demand, as human beings, the dignity 
and justice that is due to us by our right of birth. We do not know how 
the present system of brutality and dehumanization and injustice has 
been allowed to be perpetrated in this day of enlightenment, but we are 
the living proof of its existence and we cannot allow it to continue.

The taxpayers who just happen to be our mothers, fathers, sisters, 
brothers, daughters and sons should be made aware of how their tax 
dollars are being spent to deny their sons, brothers, fathers and uncles 
of justice, equality and dignity.

Attica Liberation Faction

Donald Noble 26777

Peter Butler 26018

Frank Lott 26148

Carl Jones-El 24534

Herbert Blyden X. 22480

*The Attica Liberation Faction Manifesto is available through Freedom 
Archives<https://search.freedomarchives.org/search.php?view_collection=144&format=Manifesto>. 
It has also been reprinted in the Institute of Race Relations’ journal 
Race and 
Class<https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0306396811414338> and 
in Attica Prison Uprising 101: A Short 
Primer<https://project-nia.org/uploads/documents/Educational-Curricula/Attica%20Prison%20Uprising%20101.pdf> 
by Mariame Kaba and Project NIA.*

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/ppnews_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20210818/318d9e7d/attachment-0001.html>


More information about the PPnews mailing list