Screenshot of Joe Little speaking in the 1974 documentary “Attica”
We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend and comrade, Joseph “Joe” Little. Born November 7, 1944, Joseph died from a heart attack in his Bronx apartment at the age of 66.
Joseph was one of the few remaining veterans of the 1971 Attica Rebellion, in which approximately 1,000 inmates seized control of the prison in response to the facility’s inhuman conditions and the assassination of Black Panther George Jackson in California. Joseph was featured in the 1974 documentary “Attica” and spoke frequently on the subject, including a presentation last December the New York City ANSWER office.
The experience of being in Attica changed Joseph’s life forever. Behind bars, he rapidly gained political consciousness and was an organizer of the People’s Party. He returned to New York City as a revolutionary activist.
Even as he grew older, and his health suffered, his commitment to the struggle never wavered.
Joseph joined the Party for Socialism and Liberation in 2009. He was drawn to our party after attending a socialist conference, often remarking about the PSL’s youthful energy and diverse composition. He became an active volunteer in the Frances Villar for Mayor campaign, and spoke at a campaign event outside Rikers Island. There, Joseph emphasized that the same conditions that gave rise to the Attica uprising continue to this day, and that the legacy of Attica is to build a movement to take on these injustices.
Joseph was a practical organizer, acting as the president of a newly formed tenant’s association in his building. He was also an internationalist, joining marches just this year for immigrant rights, against the sending of U.S. military troops to Haiti, in Washington D.C. against the wars. As a long-time member of Community Voices Heard, Joseph also took part in actions against Wall Street mortgage bankers and in defense of poor people’s rights. At all of these events, Joseph showed up with cane in hand, his characteristic socks and sandals, and an unflinching demeanor.
Joseph was a devoted revolutionary, patient teacher and life-long student of politics, who was never without a book. The Party for Socialism and Liberation express our sincerest condolences to Joseph’s friends and family, and vow to honor his memory by continuing the struggles to which he dedicated his life.