The New Deal is not Dead: Bearing Witness to the Fight for Economic Justice in Rochester

The New Deal is not Dead: Bearing Witness to the Fight for Economic Justice in Rochester

George Payne is a Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Finger Lakes Community College and Niagara County Community College. In 2014 he founded Gandhi Earth Keepers International, an online social justice network for activists devoted to environmentalism. George is also the host of the Broken Spear Vision on g-payne-1_23_13Rochester Free Radio 106.3 FM, and he publishes regularly in a variety of local and national publications including the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pace e Bene Campaign Nonviolence, CounterPunch, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester CITY Newspaper, Minority Reporter, and Talker of the Town.

Today, George looks back on two years of economic and social justice activism. Photos include links to related articles by George and others.

Photography by George Payne

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Fight for $15 Rally at The University of Rochester
Take Back the Land Home Defense

see A gathering of students, educators, urban farmers and social entrepreneurs at the Bay Street Community Garden

Home Defense on North Goodman

see A gathering of students, educators, urban farmers and social entrepreneurs at the Bay Street Community Garden

Just like everywhere else in America, heroine has struck Rochester with a fury. These needles were found in Seneca Park.  see Hike to Rico’s Cave: An Experience Of “Two Rochesters” by Austin Retzlaff


see “A Walk the Crescent”with George Payne

Broken Spear Vision guest and Rochester social justice organizer Rosemary Rivera leading the charge at the “Moral Monday” action in Albany.

see Talker invited to Rochester Free Radio: WRFZ,103.6 FM

Jim Hightower speaking at a Bernie Sanders rally at Monroe Community College

see Athesia, Video Celeb turned Paparazzi, at the rally

Climate Justice March in downtown Rochester. see Rochester leaves its footprint on La Marche Globale
Judy Bello, a frequent guest on The Broken Spear Vision. Often she discusses the connection between war and poverty. see Syria Through a Fractal Prism: Conversations on War and Peace with Judy Bello
Prayer flags on Genesee Street see A ray of light on 595 Frost Avenue
Our children are suffering because of greed, narrow mindedness, indifference, and meanness. There must be more effort on part of Rochester corporations to address generational poverty.
 It is hard not to be cynical. see Sitting Tall: Colin Kaepernick, Nonviolent Dissent, and the Meaning of American Patriotism.
Sanders defeat was a major blow to the progressive movement in Rochester. This rally at Monroe Community College was full of expectations unfulfilled.

see Asking and answering three questions at the Bernie Sanders rally from George Payne and Citizenship in action at the corner of Culver and Parsells

George Payne at the 2014 “Moral Monday” action in Albany.
Young protester at Climate Justice rally in Rochester 

see Learning for the Long Haul: The Campus Sustainability Movement Grows

Fast food workers in Rochester are joining thousands of workers in over 100 cities across the United States to demand an industry-wide $15 per hour wage and to form a union without retaliation.

Rochester is the 5th poorest city in the United States. Meanwhile multi-billion dollar corporations like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King take millions in profits away from our city leaving behind only poverty wages. Fast Food workers and Metro Justice are standing up to form the front-line for the fight against poverty for all in Rochester.

By demanding fair wages, union rights, and real respect in the workplace fast-food workers are standing up to fight poverty for our entire community. With higher wages, fast food workers would be able to pull themselves, and their families out of poverty while further supporting local businesses. By seeking to form a union, they are helping to revitalize a labor movement that represents all workers.

Learn more by visiting: Fight for 15 with Metro Justice

see “What is the working class?” with Thomas Warfield at the Labor Day Parade.

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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