Escaping from Hell Is a Right!

(You need at least 30 minutes for this entry.)

Set to music by Frederic Rzewski (pron. JEV-skee), the first part of his Coming Together is based on text from a letter of Sam Melville, anti-war protester and convicted bomber, who was incarcerated at Attica. He was shot and killed in the 1971 Attica prison uprising.

(You may have to pull the play bar back fully to the left; no proprietary claim is made to this link or material)

Part Two, ‘Attica,’ uses the reply of another uprising leader, Richard X. Clark, just after being release. Asked how it felt leaving Attica behind, he said: “Attica is in front of me.” Rzewski draws for me hope to and from those words.

Principal source

Grégory Salle (2018). “Escaping from Hell Is a Right!”: The Case of France’s ‘Q.H.S.’ (1975–1982).” Chapter 7 In: Prison Breaks–Toward a Sociology of Escape (eds. T.M. Martin and G. Chantraine), Springer eBook (

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