Critical Resistance NY Chapter partnered with the Beyond Attica Coalition in hosting a Speak Out to Close Attica Prison on September 12, 2015. The event was a collaboration between Critical Resistance, Correctional Association of NY, Milk Not Jails and many other community organizers working to abolish prisons and provide reentry services.
Throughout the day, over 200 individuals participated in a public speak-out, banner-making led by Milk Not Jails, connections to re-entry support services, and music by DJ Macnificent of Zulu Nation. Coalition members conducted non-stop video interviews to collect testimony from survivors of Attica and family members of those currently imprisoned, supporting documentation of the need to close the prison.
CR New York led the efforts to bring together the Reconstruction Table, a space where event attendees could envision practical solutions for social needs. With these visions we re-centered state financial priorities away from caging and controlling, and instead towards life sustaining programs of education, housing, healthcare and more.
Kristin Sorienata, a CR New York member, joined a long list of speakers on the outdoor stage at the Adam Clayton Powell State Building in Harlem, including survivors of Attica Prison, family members and loved ones of those currently imprisoned, Harlem based community organizers, and others directly impacted by prisons and policing. Kristin spoke strongly of the need to view the closure of Attica Prison within a context of abolition of the entire Prison Industrial Complex, encouraging attendees to “believe that a New York beyond Attica, a world without Attica, is not only possible, but irresistible… that community well-being can only be addressed when we free people and resources from the Prison Industrial Complex and redirect those resources towards Reconstructing the things that make communities whole, healthy, and self-determined.”
CR New York will continue working within the statewide Beyond Attica Coalition as Attica Prison represents an epicenter of the racist brutality and inhumane treatment that is fundamental to all jails and prisons. Stay tuned for upcoming Coalition action.
Close Attica, Dismantle the Prison Industrial Complex!