On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, a public hearing was held where the community gave nearly two hours of testimony regarding Ban the Box legislation. The legislation, The Opportunity to Compete Ordinance, was supported by a large body of public advocacy organizations as well as individuals with stories of discrimination and heartache over not being able to find legitimate work after doing their time for the crimes they committed. The bill was initially sponsored by Adam McFadden.
May 13, 2014:
City Council defered voting on the legislation because so few of the councilmembers were present. The vote was deferred to the following Tuesday, May 20.
On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Rochester City Council voted unanimously to ban the box! According to the D&C, "The new law effects both public and private employers with four or more employees and is effective in 180 days.
"There are exceptions, such as for police and firefighters and other professions where felony convictions specifically bar a person from employment."
On July 9, 2014, Rochester Indymedia sat down with Sister Grace Miller and C.W. Earlsey of House of Mercy to discuss the current issues facing poor people and people without homes in Rochester. Sister Grace and C.W. also updated us on the ongoing struggle to find a new, bigger building for their work, the situation with the folks living in the Civic Center Garage, and the ongoing denial of the county to take responsibility for burying the poor with dignity.
Finally, Sister Grace and C.W. announced an upcoming car raffle, dinner, and garage sale fundraiser to be held at Our Lady of Mercy High School (1437 Blossom Rd, Rochester, NY) on July 19, 2014 from 9am to 5pm.
[ed. note--Emma Goldman's first home after immigrating to the United States with her family was Rochester, NY. In a town that loves to proclaim its radical heritage with Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, Emma, the anarchist, seems to want to be forgotten. On this Fourth of July, check out her essay against patriotism.]
WHAT is patriotism? Is it love of one's birthplace, the place of childhood's recollections and hopes, dreams and aspirations? Is it the place where, in childlike naivety, we would watch the fleeting clouds, and wonder why we, too, could not run so swiftly? The place where we would count the milliard glittering stars, terror-stricken lest each one "an eye should be," piercing the very depths of our little souls? Is it the place where we would listen to the music of the birds, and long to have wings to fly, even as they, to distant lands? Or the place where we would sit at mother's knee, enraptured by wonderful tales of great deeds and conquests? In short, is it love for the spot, every inch representing dear and precious recollections of a happy, joyous, and playful childhood?
Ukraine for much of its history has been fraught with complex problems. Our three panelists have the experience and expertise to address these issues. We call on you, the audience, as well, to help us understand what is going on in this dangerous corner of the world. Presentations by the panelists were followed by questions and answers, and discussion.
As I stood at the podium, in the third-floor chambers of City Hall during a May 20 Rochester City Council meeting, I thought about how amazing it was that I had stood in the exact same spot 25 years earlier, with men and women such as Minister Franklin Florence Sr., the Late Rev. Raymond Graves, Minister Lewis Stewart, Rev. Dr. John Walker, Rev. Willie Harvey, Sister Grace Miller, Sister Rita, Ms. Gwen Byrd, and many others.
Three of those people were also present May 20.
Amazingly, we had been there 25 years ago for the same purpose that we attended the May 20 meeting, i.e., to impress upon city leaders the importance of implementing an independent, civilian review process regarding brutal behavior by some members of the Rochester Police Department (RPD) .
We were there in order to bring those whom Rev. Graves was fond of identifying as "abusive, rogue cops" under control.
It is even more amazing that some of the people referenced above had organized, and pushed for, an independent, civilian review process at least 20 years before I was involved.
So, on May 20, there we were; at least 45 years after the very first efforts, still raising the same crystal-clear need.
Submitted by SusanGalloway on Wed, 2014-06-11 23:24
Gail Walker, Co-Director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace is also an award-winning radio producer and an on-air host and journalist. With over 15 years of involvement with Pastors for Peace, including as Communications Director, she has staffed more than 15 caravans of humanitarian aid to Cuba and Central America and worked extensively with marginalized communities.
Professor Harry Murray, of Nazarath College spoke at the Flying Squirrel Community Space on June 2 for their June Monday Mayhem programming. The discussion was on US drone warfare and treatment of antiwar protesters. Murray has been arrested multiple times protesting US military policy. His most recent arrest was last year at Hancock Air Force base in Dewitt NY, outside of Syracuse. He is scheduled for trial in 2015. Hancock is a base of operations for US drones operating in Afghanistan.
Submitted by naomi.mcgregor on Wed, 2014-06-04 20:57
A May 20, 2014, front-page article in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle discussed the recent ‘La Casa scandal’ that has shocked the South Wedge community. The controversy involves a business venture entered into by Maria Bocanegra and her husband, Omar Ramos, with Rochester businessman Lyjha Wilton in 2013 to open and operate La Casa restaurant, located at 93 Alexander Street.
Submitted by SusanGalloway on Thu, 2014-05-29 05:30
Students parents, teachers and community members held a mock funeral to mourn the current regime of high-stakes testing at the expense of learning and teaching and to imagine a joyful resurrection of public education. The funeral was held outside the Rochester City School district Central Office in Rochester, NY.
We, as a People, have lost our way. The average American spends 5 hours a day wasting away in front of a TV while a global war is waged in our name for blood, oil, and gold. Like masses of walking dead we spend our time chasing dreams that are not our own; lusting after cars and shoes and iPhones without any consideration for how many beings are suffering as a direct result of our insatiable need to consume.
Rochester's Memorial Day Peace Parade kicked off May 26 2014. It was sponsored by Metro Justice of Rochester, Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace, The Flying Squirrel Community Space, The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, Rochester Against War and Rochester Friends Meeting (Quakers).
Seventy-five people came to the Twelve Corners park in Brighton May 24 in solidarity with a world-wide March Against Monsanto. Turnout was surprisingly good considering an error in publicizing the event caused most to not know about it until the day before.
Submitted by Enough Is Enough! on Sat, 2014-05-17 16:29
On May 6, 2014, Rev. Lewis Stewart from the United Christian Leadership Ministry presented on the history of the struggle to get an independent civilian review board, UCLM's strategy for how to get one now, and how Enough Is Enough, allies, and people who have used the current civilian review process can act for real independent change. Below is the video of the teach-in and the conversation that followed.
A few days ago, you asked the internet, “does my janitor who is a male like me and im a male (gay)?” And the internet took you to my blog, in the hopes it would help you find your answer. (Yes, the internet does have its own hopes and dreams!) I highly doubt you found what you were looking for, so I decided to fill in the blanks, in case you try again in the future. I will be taking some liberties and making some assumptions, in order to create a concise response. If I am off base, please, call me out!
I’m sorry to let you know, the internet cannot answer questions that are this specific to your personal experience. You can glean a whole lot of information that might help you put words to your feelings, which is super helpful. But the internet does not know your situation, does not know your janitor, and does not know anything beyond whatever it is that people write on it. Is there a chance that your janitor wrote about you on the internet? Yes, maybe. But you will not be coming upon that writing by asking in that way.
We, the New York City local of the Black Rose Anarchist Federation, are deeply saddened and outraged by the conviction of our comrade and friend Cecily McMillan. While we are disappointed by the jury’s ultimate verdict, we are not surprised given the anti-democratic nature of Cecily’s trial, and the initial sexual assault and arrest on the night of March 17, 2012. Judge Zweibel’s refusal to allow the jury to consider Grantley Bovell’s violent and illegal past behavior while on the job, total gag order placed on Cecily’s lawyers, and the dismissal of multiple people of color during the jury selection because of their admittance of personally experiencing police brutality, are only some examples of how the guilty verdict was a certainty from day one. It is clear to us that the brutal police repression on the night of M17 (which many of us witnessed first hand and are still shaken up from to this day), the trial, and the ultimate incarceration of Cecily are all examples of how the capitalist state suppresses dissent and punishes those who dare to challenge it. We respect the efforts of Cecily’s legal defense team, but affirm that judge Zweibel, the prosecution, and the court system as a whole are simply extensions of the same state that physically assaulted our friend to the point of seizure, and will likely keep her in a cage for the next two to seven years after turning the blame around on her.