Clifton Ross and Marcy Reins spoke on Thursday evening about their new book “Until the Rulers Obey: Voices from Latin American Social Movements.” The event was organized by Rochester Red and Black and was held at the Flying Squirrel Community Space.
Masic bum rushed and pepper-sprayed Mr. Keene without warning, dropped him to the ground, and yelled at him--after he was in handcuffs--"If you don't stop moving, I'm going to shoot you." Mr. Keene was speaking with his grandmother on the phone when the altercation happened; she had an asthma attack as she heard her grandson violently arrested. Mr. Keene wants nothing more than to see officer Mario "Cowboy" Masic lose his job and never work for law enforcement again.
On September 20, Rochester Indymedia sat down with Mr. Keene and asked him to explain what happened. Here is his story.
United Christian Leadership Ministry held a press conference on September 25, 2014 at Inner Faith Gospel Tabernacle where they called for a police accountability legislative package to be passed that would include an independent civilian review board, body cameras for cops, the collection of data for stop and frisk (as well as its end), and law that would compel officers to inform civilians of their rights if they are stopped. The press conference also addressed the deteriorating environment of police / community relations. Reverend Lewis Stewart spoke on behalf of UCLM.
Ricardo Adams and Rosemary Rivera, who went to Ferguson, MO at different times, presented on their trips. The event took place at the Flying Squirrel Community Space in Rochester, NY on Sept 16th, 2014 and was organized by the group Enough is Enough.
Rosemary Rivera and Ricardo Adams share impressions of time they spent in Ferguson, MO recently. The event took place at the Flying Squirrel Community Space in Rochester, NY on Sept 16th, 2014 and was organized by the group Enough is Enough.
The fact that global warming is man-made and poses a grave threat to our future is widely accepted by progressives. Yet, the most commonly proposed solutions emphasize either personal responsibility for a global emergency (buy energy-efficient light bulbs, purchase a Prius), or rely on market-based schemes like cap-and-trade. These responses are not only inadequate, says best-selling author Naomi Klein, but represent a lost opportunity to confront climate change’s root cause: capitalism.
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, Klein’s much-anticipated new book, is both surprisingly hopeful and deeply personal as she deftly weaves in her story of struggling to conceive her first child while researching the potential collapse of the natural world. In the book, Klein challenges everyone who cares about climate change to strive for a seemingly impossible redistribution of political and economic power. This, she argues, is both necessary and offers the prospect of living in a more just and humane society than the one we know today.
BATH, NY: Leachate. Influent. Effluent. Flocculent. Biochemical Oxygen Demand. Some of those words sound uninviting which is fine because what they name isn’t always pleasant. They are all parts of the business of the Leachate Pre-Treatment Plant operated by Steuben County.
The folks in charge of that facility seem proud of what they have and how they run it. They welcome busloads of high school students and car loads of adults interested in taking a look at what runs through those pipes. I was able to attend as a guest of the New York Water Sentinels, a citizen science stream water monitoring program affiliated with the Sierra Club.
The tour was hosted by Vincent Spagnoletti, Commissioner of Public Works and Steve Orcutt, Assistant Commissioner and conducted by Bob Kingsbury, Chief Waste Water Plant Operator.
To digress a moment, people in Allegany County know that Wellsville has a wastewater treatment facility. It is designed to take in what homes flush out; to remove daily domestic muck from sewer water and send their product into the Genesee River.
WELLSVILLE: Flush a toilet, wash a dish, enjoy your shower and forget what goes down the drain. That’s what many do every day while a crew of 3 waits “downhill” ready to turn our nasty sewage into river-ready water.
This past week I stood on some sturdy grates looking down on Wellsville’s daily 1.4 million gallons of sewage as it rushed into the Wellsville Sewer Department
I toured the facility with Joanne Allen and Barry Miller of Concerned Citizens of Allegany County while Michael Smith and Brad Mattison explained the sewage treatment processes that relieves Wellsville’s sewage of some of our daily muck.
We started at the headworks, the unit where water from about 2400 users enters the system. This is the place plagued by baby wipes and the occasional diaper. The water passes through a grinder and a screen but things like baby wipes don’t grind well and can block the screen so sometimes someone has to pull out what looks like stiff, white fiber.
The water that rushed under our feet was raw sewage at its worst but it didn’t smell much. Smith said that’s because there is a lot of water in the system just now. He said that waste water comes from homes, stores and businesses but there is also water that seeps into the system through broken pipes. Pipes, he said, always leak somewhere.
This water is only domestic sewage. Storm water doesn’t mix in. The Village worked aggressively in the 70s, in response to Nixon’s Clean Water Act, to separate sewage and storm water. At the time there was grant money to upgrade systems and Wellsville took advantage of that money to separate the two water streams.
Submitted by Sister Grace Miller, Ryan Acuff, Tom Malthaner on Thu, 2014-09-18 23:17
Letter to the Community from the Three Arrested Protesting Monroe County's (NY) Homeless Policies on September 15, 2014
originally gathered from Ryan Acuff's facebook page.
Today Monroe County's government sunk to a new low in arresting advocates and constituents who were simply looking to work with government to solve one of the County's most grave and pressing issues—sheltering the street homeless before the winter.
Today, September 15,2014, a group of about 35 people came to the Monroe County Office Building to meet with County Executive Maggie Brooks in order to work together to solve the homeless crisis in Monroe County. Even if she was not present, we were willing to establish a meeting with her this week. We spoke with the Monroe County Director of Public Safety David Moore at about 9:15am and he informed us that he would see if a meeting could be scheduled and that he would be back within 20minutes. He never returned and instead ordered officers to start arresting protesters in the building even if they were not being disruptive.
How do we take a moment in time and not let it pass us by, but use it to be the tipping point to begin to dismantle racism? How can we focus on racism and not acknowledge the oppression, the classism, the simple uneven playing field that exists within our society? Plagued with these questions and more, I came to Ferguson,to seek understanding and to support in whatever small way possible, the people who struggle.
When I arrived, St. Louis looked like any other city I had been in. But, entering Ferguson, made me realize what a special community Ferguson really is.
The first place we made a beeline to is the street that Michael Brown was killed.
The first thing we saw was an incredible memorial laid out in the MIDDLE of the street. It has to be about 12 feet long and as we passed, people stood on the side with their arms raised in the air, hands balled in a fist. This simple and time worn symbol has meant power, but in the streets of Ferguson it had an additional meaning: “Hands up…Don’t shoot”
Another memorial on the side of the road stood no less that six feet wide with flowers, a basketball, signs, and all sorts of tributes to Michael Brown.. A huge cross, perhaps six feet high leaned against the building, a memory to a fallen youth that refuses to be forgotten. The cars respected the memorial in the middle of the street, honking their horns as they passed and being careful not to run over any part of the memorial, while at the same time, returning the salute that is additionally a sign of respect.
As we got out and took pictures of the memorials, a woman, walked up to me out of nowhere and simply hugged me. She welcomed me and spoke to me in despair over what had transpired in her community. Angie has been living in the same complex for twenty years. Her daughter is a teacher and they both were home the day Mike Brown was shot. They heard the bullets that ripped into his body and they felt the pain of loss.
Angie is angry. She is not the only one. The people standing in front of this memorial are not a part of any organization. I asked if they were taking “shifts” in manning the memorial. “No, you just come when you feel moved to do so, “ was the response. There seemed to be no real rhyme to their gathering, but they all had plenty of reason. These people are simply tired and expressing that they can’t take it anymore.
As she stood talking to me, two young people holding a sign, came up and sang “A change gonna come,” their beautiful voices touching something deep within me. They thanked me for coming to support them, when all I wanted to do is to thank them for receiving me in such a welcoming manner. Unashamed, they cried, they sang, they stood together gathering strength from one another. I could sense a front porch community that cares about each other and an underlying pride that they are no longer going to sit by the sidelines and take whatever injustice is dished out. When I asked, “What happens now,” The response I received was simple. “They better do something soon to hold that police officer accountable or things are really gonna jump off!”
Today was the first evening we were in Ferguson. Right now there is a moratorium on the protests for the next 14 days. But, the people I was able to talk to are probably not the ones that are part of engineering that moratorium. They were mothers, fathers, young people and old, who live in that community and are waiting and watching. I am glad to be waiting and watching with them….
(Guys we only were out there a little bit. After settling in and figuring out where we were staying, having a HUGE layover as we couldn’t get on the plane we were booked for, we got here a bit too late. No one really was as prepared for us. Actually, I don’t think any organization here was prepared for what happened. They are all going, “Oh, okay this is turning out to be national and all eyes are on us.” The organization, MORE, that used to be ACORN, I must take my hat off to. They seem to not be taking a lead, but identifying people who are the young leaders and actually training them. The woman I am staying with is a Saint. Beautiful home and she shares that what has her excited and opening up the doors to her home is all the youth that this has brought out. I hope this doesn’t become a blip in history because people might give up. When you put your all into something and nothing changes….well, don’t you have less hope that when you started? Anyway, love you all.)
Submitted by Tom Malthaner, Catholic Worker, St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality on Tue, 2014-09-16 12:15
LETTER TO D&C OPINION PAGE 8-26-14
THE CLOSING OF THE POLICE GARAGE TO THE HOMELESS
Last Thursday night Sister Grace, from the House of Mercy, Rob Benazzi , on staff at St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality, and myself, a Catholic Worker at St. Joseph’s House, stayed overnight at the Civic Center (police) Garage. The management told us that as long as we are paying customers we could stay as long as we want. My purpose in staying was to experience one night and get an idea of what homeless persons go through, understanding that some stay for weeks and months. In talking to some of the old-timers who have stayed in the garage, one mentioned he stayed in the late 70’s and another in the 80’s. So the homeless have been using the garage as a shelter for almost 40 years. Under Article 17 of the New York State Constitution, Monroe County has a legal obligation to care for the needy. I am appalled and ashamed that, for so many years, the County has looked the other way and allowed the police garage to be a shelter. I am ashamed that I didn’t say anything about this situation before now. Staying in the garage was nasty. I got about 3 ½ hours of sleep - on the cement floor with a sleeping bag under me as a cushion. It was warm and I was concerned about car exhaust fumes throughout the night. The maintenance man ran the power cleaner most of the night. It was very loud and reminded me of a miniature street cleaner . He would go outside several times a night to get fresh air to counteract the fumes and the dust, but we were stuck inside. Finally, there is no bathroom in the garage. In the meetings with Mapco, the company managing the garage, one of their complaints was the smell of urine and feces. We have suggested several times to put a porta-potty in the garage as a simple solution, but the management refused. So going to the bathroom for myself and Sr. Grace was an embarrassing experience. In sum, I thought the overnight experience was dreadful and would not suggest it even to my worst enemy. I think now of the” works of mercy”, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless… Is this how we should shelter our brothers and sisters who happen for whatever reason to become homeless?
On September 4, 2014, Rochester's Fight for $15 campaign kicked off at the Wendy's at 1175 E. Ridge Road where Wendy's workers went on strike for $15 / hr and a union. In the video below, workers explain their current conditions and why they are demanding $15 / hr. and the right to organize a union.
Submitted by Sister Grace @ House of Mercy on Fri, 2014-09-12 00:30
County Suddenly Breaks off Dialogue With Homeless Advocates Without a Plan to House All the Homeless
Without Dialogue Campaign of Direct Action Will Continue
Rochester, NY - On Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 1:00pm representatives of the House of Mercy and St. Joseph's House of Hospitality were scheduled to meet with 7 officials from the County including Commissioner of Human Services, Kelly Reed to work toward building a partnership to resolve the current homeless crisis. St. Joseph's House of Hospitality has been providing homeless services in Rochester for 75 years and the House of Mercy for 29 years for a combined total of 104 years of service to the homeless.
Instead keeping the scheduled meeting to find common ground on the issues at hand, the meeting was abruptly called off. The County claimed that it was unnecessary to meet and there were no plans to reschedule. Commissioner Reed claimed she would send Sister Grace Miller from the House of Mercy two links to outside funding sources missing the whole point of the meeting (To date, those links were never sent). Our reason for meeting was to work together to solve the current homeless crisis. As the Coalition of Concerned Residents of Monroe County (of which House of Mercy and St. Joe's are a part) stated in an open letter to County Executive Maggie Brooks we are looking for openness, efficiency, and justice from the County Government in dealing with the crisis. We want...