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NY prisons lift ban on book about Attica uprising

Inmates at Attica State Prison in Attica, N.Y., raise their hands in clenched fists in a show of unity, Sept. 1971, during the Attica uprising, which took the lives of 43 people. New York authorities have lifted a ban that had stopped state prison inmates from reading a book about the 1971 Attica Correctional Facility uprising following a First Amendment lawsuit brought by its author. (AP Photo, File)
State prison inmates will will have usage of a book detailing the Attica prison uprising, but one part it’s still kept censored.AP Photo

ALBANY, N.Y. NY authorities have lifted a ban that had stopped state prison inmates from reading a book concerning the 1971 Attica Correctional Facility uprising carrying out a First Amendment lawsuit brought by its author.

State officials, however, said they’ll continue steadily to censor one small section of the Pulitzer-prize-winning book for security reasons. A two-page map of Attica will undoubtedly be taken off copies sent in to the prisons.

Author Heather Ann Thompson, a historian and professor at the University of Michigan,sued the states prisonsin March on the ban on her behalf book Blood in the Water: The Attica Uprising of 1971.

Published in 2016, the book is among the most comprehensive accounts of the uprising, where a lot more than 1,300 inmates took over section of a prison in upstate NY to protest years of mistreatment. It ended when state troopers and guards shot tear gas right into a prison yard before firing a huge selection of rounds in to the smoke.

Altogether, 32 inmates and 11 staff were killed, without police officers placed on trial for his or her role in the massacre.

State police in riot gear regain control of prisoners following the Attica prison riot in Attica, New York, Sept. 1971.
State police in riot gear regain control of prisoners following Attica prison riot in Attica, NY, Sept. 1971.
AP Photo
The vacant prison yard strewn with debris after the riot at the Attica State Correctional Facility in Attica, New York. (Photo by Santi Visalli Inc./Getty Images)
The vacant prison yard was strewn with debris following the riot at the Attica State Correctional Facility in Attica, NY.
Santi Visalli Inc./Getty Images

Folks have a right to learn, and folks have the right to history, Thompson said in a statement once the lawsuit was filed. We likewise have a right to possess our books read. Its a shame we reside in a country where we censor people and ideas.

She was represented in the lawsuit by the Civil Rights Clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and the brand new York Civil Liberties Union.

The other day, hawaii attorney generals office said in a letter to a U.S. judge in Manhattan that the ban will be lifted, but only in paperback copies where in fact the map could be removed.

In case a correctional facility rejects a obtain an order of the book, prison officials are actually legally obligated to send Thompson notice of this.

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