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Sep 13, 21

Kite Line: The Attica Commune

Long running abolitionist radio show, Kite Line, presents a special on the historical Attica Uprising.

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Three years ago on Kite Line, we aired an episode about the Attica Prison Uprising of 1971. This week, September 9th to September 13th, will mark fifty years between us and the event. We share this piece again today, with updated contributions from its author, analyzing the growing challenges to our collective survival, both inside and outside the prisons. What the author calls the commune – the enduring forms of collectivity and care developed through rebellion – is the best chance we have for survival. This dimension of the Attica Uprising, such as the prisoners’ experiments with peacemaking and sharing tasks even while facing terrifying constraints, offers rich lessons for us today, as we navigate a period defined by economic decline, escalating white supremacy, and ecological crisis.

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Kite Line is a radio program devoted to prison issues around the Midwest and beyond. Behind the prison walls, a message is called a kite: whispered words, a note passed hand to hand, or a request submitted to the guards for medical care. Illicit or not, sending a kite means trusting that other people will bear it farther along till it reaches its destination. On the show, we hope to pass along words across the prison walls.

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