November 17, 2017

Thursday, September 9, 1971 - Monday, September 13, 1971


We have no voices any longer.

You cannot hear our prayers.

Rebellion, riot, demands, negotiations, death.

The savage convicts were armed and masked.

They beat and bruised us into submission,

only then to guard us just as we,

the officers, used to guard them.

Gross inhumanity toward our fellow man.

Better food, better medicine, better sanitation.

A stop to cruel treatment, have fair visitations.

Rights versus punishment and suffering.

Concessions to some, balking at others,

the arrogance of Governor Rockefeller

took all of our voices away.

Ruthless and bloodthirsty, the brutality continued.

The police and national guard came out to play.

We had each, to a man, held our own,

heeding our own dusty inner council.

Forced into becoming terrified hostages,

we stood our ground long days and nights

against vicious assaults of barbarism…

bloodied, battered, captive until that morning-

for two full minutes clouds of smoke and tear gas,

sweeping interminable seconds across the yard,

the rage and agony of deathscreams and bullets.

Fish in a barrel both good and bad alike-

having nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

They slaughtered us at Attica prison.

Rebellion, riot, demands, negotiations, death.

We have no voices any longer.

You cannot hear our prayers.

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