March to Albany: Shut Attica down

New York is home to the worst prison riot in history. The name of the prison where it took place, "Attica," has become synonymous with abusive practices and a disregard for human rights. 

But even though the notorious Attica riot took place in 1971, human rights violations of New York prisoners, especially those still housed in the decaying Attica prison, remain a modern scourge. 

The time has come to shut Attica down.

The Attica riot was the worst prison riot in U.S. history. A total of 43 people were killed, including the 39 killed in the raid, guard William Quinn, and three inmates killed by other prisoners early in the riot. In the week after its conclusion, police engaged in brutal reprisals against the prisoners, forcing them to run a gauntlet of nightsticks and crawl naked across broken glass, among other tortures. The many injured inmates received substandard medical treatment, if any. -- The History Channel

The Alliance of Families for Justice launched its year-long campaign to shut down Attica and expose and eliminate human rights abuses in NYS prisons and jails in September 2016. We will feature monthly forums in various geographic regions of New York state focused on educating the public on these issues and mobilizing them to take action. This campaign will culminate in a three-week march from NYC to Albany highlighted by teach-ins along the way. Our campaign will end with a press conference in Albany on September 13, 2017, the anniversary of the Attica uprising and massacre. Caravans from other parts of the state will take place simultaneously. Different days of the march will focus on different issues.

The abuses at Attica and within the New York correctional system are not relegated to history. A recent article in the New York Times documented a culture of abuse and fear inside a New York prison.

“Excessive use of force in prisons, we believe, has reached crisis proportions in New York State,” -- Preet Bharara, United States attorney in Manhattan

Various constituencies are invited to join the families and participate in the march including, but not limited to, students, faith leaders, organized labor, social workers, lawyers and paralegals, teachers, service providers, policy makers, formerly incarcerated people, academics, athletes, elected officials, community organizers, health professionals, celebrities, activists and researchers.

A mural project engaging local artists will be part of the march so that in each town where a press conference and teach-in event is held, there will be a mural to memorialize the march. There are numerous prisons, jails and colleges located along the Hudson River between NYC and Albany. These provide excellent sites for teach-ins and press conferences.

The distance between NYC and Albany is 180 miles. The march will commence in late August and take 18 - 20 days to complete in anticipation of traveling approximately 10 miles each day. Marchers are asked to commit to marching at least 10 miles.

We need your support. Help raise awareness throughout the year through meeting attendance and social media support. Donate early and often. And help connect us to corporate sponsors who can commit to helping us raise awareness of the need for #humanrightsnow and the shutdown of Attica to once and for all end its lengthy legacy of abuse.