Thursday: "Attica"

April 6

On Sept. 9, 1971, 1,000 inmates rioted at Attica Correctional Facility in New York, taking 42 prison staff hostage. The riot was unplanned, beginning with a small act of defiance and escalating amid tactical mistakes by the guards, one of whom was killed. The prisoners made dozens of demands, and the negotiators agreed to most of them before then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller ordered the State Police to take the prison back with shotguns. The ensuing raid resulted in 38 deaths—nine hostages and 29 inmates. Four more inmates were killed subsequently by guards. Rockefeller howled about the inmates’ savagery, but a subsequent forensic investigation found only one death attributable to them. "Attica," the documentary, was the first recounting of these events from the prisoners’ point of view—which turned out to be more credible than the official story. It helped make the riot a cultural touchstone. 7 p.m., 2640 Space, 2640 St. Paul St.,, free. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

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