Pete Seeger died Monday. He was a great songwriter, musician and fighter for social justice, and a great example of a life of integrity.
He sang songs in support of the labor union movement in the 1940s. During the 1950s,, he was blacklisted for his Communist sympathies and nearly went to prison for contempt of Congress after refusing to answer questions by the House Un-American Activities Committee, but made a comeback in the 1960s.
I think his illusions about Communism and the Soviet Union were a serious thing to have been mistaken about, but they matter less than his great songs and his example of courage in standing up for what he thought was right.
The Flying Squirrel Community Space played host to investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill's Oscar-nominated documentary "Dirty Wars" on February 18 2014. The film chronicles the USA's expanding covert and proxy wars in the Mideast, Asia and Africa. While not explicitly mentioned in the film, the US engages in similar activities in Central and South America. The free screening was sponsored by Rochester Against War. About 40 people were in attendance. It was not the first time the film was shown in Rochester. The Cinema theater hosted it during its theatr
Submitted by Martha Laties, Chair of Monroe Citizens for Public Education and Religious Liberty(MCPEARL) on Sun, 2014-02-09 23:09
In January, an article in the Westchester Journal News reported that a set of very rich men have so far allocated more than $4.7 million dollars to promote S4099A, the Education Investment Incentives Act, a N.Y. Senate tuition tax credit bill.
Submitted by Dr. Grania Marcus on Sat, 2014-02-08 15:06
On January 8, 2014, Dr. Grania Marcus, who has spent more than 30 years involved with immigration issues in Florida, upstate New York, on the US-Mexico Border and in New York City, discussed US immigration history, the spread of border enforcement throughout the country and what we can do to help end the deportations and family separations that US immigration policy promotes. This was taped at the Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY at a meeting of the Rochester Committee on Latin America.
Submitted by T. Forsyth / video: Susan Galloway / Enough Is Enough on Sat, 2014-02-08 11:44
On Feb. 4, 2014, Dwayne Ivery and his attorney Charles F. Burkwit are announced the filing of a federal civil rights lawsuit against Rochester Police Department officers Alexander C. Baldauf and Rickey J. Harris, JR., former RPD police chief James Sheppard and the City of Rochester for excessive use of force. Enough Is Enough, an anti- police brutality organization, hosted the press conference in solidarity with Mr. Ivery.
These are the documents from the State making criminal allegations against Dwayne Ivery. Ivery relucatantly took a six month ACD to settle the criminal charges. This does not impact his federal civil rights lawsuit in any way.
Dwayne Ivery's federal civil rights lawsuit against Rochester Police Department officers Alexander C. Baldauf, Ricky J. Harris, JR., former chief of police James M. Sheppard, and the City of Rochester.
The City of Rochester Bureau of Planning and Zoning is in the process of updating Center City Master Plan. From the City’s website, “The intent is for this document to be a strategic plan [to] help the city measure and celebrate downtown progress, prioritize further research and analysis, prioritize projects, and help secure funding.”
A draft plan can be viewed online , and in a series of open houses the City is now gathering public input on that draft. The last open house is this Wednesday evening (details at the end of this story). [Ed.-This article is a little out of date, but still interesting.]
I had a chance to catch up with Jason Haremza, senior planner with the City of Rochester, to ask a few questions about the update…
We were in greater danger from nuclear weapons than we thought during the Cold War era, and that danger still exists.
That is what I learned from reading COMMAND AND CONTROL: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schosser, a history of nuclear weapons technology from World War Two to the present.
The danger was not so much that the USA or USSR would intentionally start a nuclear war. Deterrence did work. The danger was an accidentak discharge or launch of a nuclear missile. As Eric Schlosser documented, this nearly happened literally hundreds of times. Evidently nobody knows the actual number because the U.S. government doesn’t keep a list.
Even Robert Peurifoy of Sandia Laboratories, the leading advocate of safer nuclear technology within the government, didn’t know of all of them.
I’m adopted. I was born in South Korea and abandoned as a baby. On my official adoption paperwork, they wrote that I was a “foundling,” which means I was neither abandoned by family or taken from my family. I was left somewhere and luckily, found by someone who took me to an orphanage. It’s kind of interesting to be a “foundling,” but I’ll save the birth story thing for another post.
On January 12, 2014, I gave a talk at the Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY, about “Islamophobia: the New Racism.”
Since I am a filmmaker, I like to add an audio-visual dimension to everything I do, so I started with a Ted Talk by Melissa Boigon and then proceeded to focus on certain aspects of Islamophobia and explore how they fit the definition of racism.
Melissa’s 10-minute talk is a great way to break the ice and get into the meaning and nature of Islamophobia:
Radical environmentalist Peg Millett, who served time in federal prison for defending the Earth, spoke at the Flying Squirrel Community Space in Rochester NY on January 23 2014. Introduction was by Buffalo Burning Books author Leslie James Pickering who wrote The Evan Mecham Eco-Terrorist International Conspiracy.
There are 4 parts to the video. Scroll down and click "read more"
On Friday, January 17, 2014, Brenda Hardaway, between five and seven days past her due date, stood before state Supreme Court Justice Francis A. Affronti and plead guilty to felony second degree assault with the understanding that she would get a reduced sentence of six months in jail and five years of probation.
Submitted by Emily Good & Julie Gelfand (video: Ted Forsyth & Susan Galloway) on Thu, 2014-01-16 21:04
We start with Emily Good explaining what was going on before January 9, 2014....
There was a day recently when Rochester's temperature ranged from -2° to 6°F, and it was on that day that the local development corporation (LDC) contracted by Monroe County and charged with operating the Civic Center parking garage (55 Fitzhugh Street South) intended to close it off to homeless folks at night. The previous night--one of Rochester's coldest, with a wind chill temperature dipping to -30°F--I spent at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality along with 16 guests taking refuge from the arctic blast. Once all of our beds were full, we called around to several shelters in order to find space for others. One went to the Open Door Mission. Another was approved by the Department of Social Services to stay at the Cadillac Hotel, while others were denied. Where do these people go when all of the area's shelters are full? The House of Mercy accepts everyone, but space and resources are limited there too.
For decades, one of the last options for homeless folks has been the Civic Center parking garage. It is warm enough inside for people to survive long nights of below-zero temperatures. Young men just out of jail have told me that even the police have suggested heading to the parking garage when they have no place else to go upon release. It has long been a shelter of last resort, and as our homeless population grows, the county has not made much of an effort to meet the desperate need for safe shelter. Until emergency shelter space is found for every person who needs it, it is absolutely immoral to seal off this structure built for cars from people who need it for life saving warmth.
Back to that day last week, January 7th, 2014: all of the area's schools were closed due to extreme cold. The LDC's board was scheduled to hold a public meeting, and there was an outcry in the community. We filled a carload of folks from St. Joe's and went down to the meeting to speak out against the closure. At the parking meter, I realized that I had no change or money whatsoever, and the three passengers--all homeless or transitioning from homelessness--scraped together a few quarters and nickels to feed the meter. Then we got the call that the meeting had been rescheduled to Thursday the 9th. Apparently it was too cold to discuss evicting homeless folks from their de facto emergency shelter. The public testimony from the rescheduled meeting of the board of that LDC, featured folks who have stayed in the parking garage. These longtime advocates for the homeless included Harry Murray, Tom Malthaner, Sister Grace Miller, and many more.
Julie Gelfand picks up the story from January 9, 2014....
Corporate branding campaigns, no matter how intricate, are designed to sustain and increase the sale of products by aligning the corporate brand with a particular (sub)cultural symbol or icon. This partnership lends the corporate brand the authenticity and legitimacy it needs to gain our attention, admiration, and money- but more importantly, our loyalty.