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The Attica Prison Riot

            The Attica Prison Riot happened at a time in American history when the turmoil surrounding, racism and persecution had come to a focal point. It was 1971, 41 years ago the deadliest prison riot in our nation's history had come to fruition at the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York. .
             The 1960's were a time where civil rights for blacks were finally delivered and supposed equality was granted, however although that may have been the case for those outside of prison walls, the prisoners inside them all across the country but especially Attica felt that they did not have basic human rights and were unjustly treated. They felt that their 8th amendment which protects against cruel and unusual punishment was being violated. They were being treated differently because of their ethnic makeup, because of the color of their skin and the situation they had found themselves in being locked up, they felt that they were being mistreated and had lost many of the rights they had before being incarcerated. .
             On September 9th, 1971 the four day riot began, the assault to retake the prison was led by 1,000 national guard, local and state police and prison guards. Their resistance was approximately 2,200 prisoners who were entrenched inside the prisons court yard, they had dug themselves in with trenches, electric fences and other defensive networks. They had 10 hostages they had obtained from the rioting and their plan was to use them as bargaining tools to get the prison rules and culture changed, they had a long list of grievances they wanted to be enforced but mostly wanted amnesty from future prosecution from starting the riot. There were many reasons for the buildup and eventual takeover of the prison from the prisoners and many mistakes were made in how it was handled and retaken. The governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller ordered the prison retaken by force if negotiations continued to fail between mediators or observers and the prison population.

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