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Vol. 80/No. 41      October 31, 2016

(front page)

‘Militant’ challenges Attica prison censorship

The Militant plans to challenge the impoundment of its Oct. 3 issue by New York State prison authorities at the Attica Correctional Facility.

The issue featured an article on the 1971 Attica prison rebellion titled, “Fight Continues 45 Years After Attica Rebels Said, ‘We Are Men, Not Beasts,’” as well as an article on several protest actions that took place in prisons in the U.S. this year demanding higher wages for labor and better conditions.

Prison officials claim that the front page and inside coverage “incite rebellion against government authority.”

Dozens of other periodicals published articles on the anniversary of the Attica rebellion, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Time magazine, Ebony magazine, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and the Wall Street Journal, along with widespread reports on television.

“Workers behind bars have the right to know what’s going on in the world, to read different political views and to form and hold their own opinions,” said John Studer, the Militant’s editor.

The censorship decision at Attica “is not just an attack on the rights of the Militant,” he added. “It’s an attack on freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”

“Running an article on a watershed event in the modern U.S. class struggle doesn’t ‘incite rebellion,’” Studer said. “It just tells the true story of the brutality and violence by state officials and prison authorities, a story hundreds of other media took the opportunity to reprise as well.”

The Militant’s lawyer David Goldstein of the Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman law firm, well known for defending civil liberties, is preparing the paper’s appeal.  

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