Attica from 1971 to Today

Thompson, Heather Ann
Date Written:  2017-09-01
Publisher:  Against the Current
Year Published:  2017
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21634

Interview with Heather Ann Thompson.



Against the Current: Your book talks about the years of work, and lucky breaks, that went into getting the documentary record of what happened during the Attica revolt, the bloody aftermath and the coverup. What parts of the story do you think remain secret and still need to be unearthed?

Heather Ann Thompson: As long as my book on Attica is, I suspect that I tell only a fraction of the story that is actually there to be told. The records that are still off limits to survivors and the lay public alike not only indicate the full details of how deep the coverup of trooper and correction officers' crimes committed at the prison went; I suspect that they would also indicate that the federal government played a much more hands-on role in how this prison rebellion was handled than I was able fully to document.

The hints that I did get of that involvement, from, for example, the memos going from local law enforcement to the Army, Navy, Marines, President, Vice President, Attorney General, etc. suggest to me that from the instant this prison uprising began, the Nixon administration was deeply interested in how it would be handled on the ground.
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