Interview with Russell Oswald

So if someone said well Attica was just a spontaneous prisoner uprising against conditions, what would your response be?


If someone asked me if that was a spontaneous revolution, taking over that institution, I would have to say, as I said many times before, it was planned. It was not spontaneous. And I have very good evidence for that. Ah number one, the day before, when two men got in ah...ah little fisticuff affair, ah a lieutenant split the two up and the one purposely struck the lieutenant. Now this is not done in prisons. And very very serious thing for a prisoner to do that. It was obviously planned they'd do that. They were subsequently put in keep lock, these two men. And that night every one in the institution was saying ah they are going to be beaten. And in the morning, the next morning, the people weren't going to breakfast. And some of them ah were not able to go to breakfast. They were keep-locked. So ah the thing was set up, an additional factor which makes me know that it wasn't spontaneous, is that one of the individuals, a prisoner, who wrote me often and was probably one of the brightest individuals in that prison and who did some work for the ah leadership, arranged to put himself in the hospital the night before the institution was taken over.