Interview with Michael Smith
QUESTION 35
TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

Tell me how the mood changed. You used a phrase before that people were willing, if they couldn't live like men, they'd die like men.

MICHAEL SMITH:

Through the riot, ah, one of the, ah, mottoes, if you will, that was, uh, that was spoken by the inmate population was that if we can't live like men then we'll die like men. And with Governor Rockefeller's refusal to come to Attica to address the situation, ah--

TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

I'm going to cut just for the siren and I'm going to ask you to do that and that will be it.



TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

There was this phrase, "If we can't live like men, we're going to die like men." Tell me about that phrase and then tell me how that became a real feeling.

MICHAEL SMITH:

During the riot the inmates had adopted a phrase that, if they couldn't live like men, then they'd die like men. And, with Governor Rockefeller's refusal to address the situation personally, it just put that much more likelihead--likelihood that there, that there wouldn't be a positive outcome to the situation and it leaned more in the direction that, ah, we were going to die like men.

TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

Okay. Cut for a second.