An Accumulation of Injustice

Image: Monroe County Hall of Justice and Rochester City Court. Grainy overlay. Text: An Accumulation of Injustice

There are many injustices to which the system remains blind. Standing as the accused is damaging to anyone forced to undergo the process, whether guilty or innocent. Defendants confront loss of employment and impoverishment, stigmatization and the loss of dignity, and exposure to mental and physical harm. These injustices occur throughout the court process, and on a daily basis. While they seem unconscionable to anyone forced to suffer or witness them, they are baked into a system that operates for the maintenance of class power and protection of property.

Manifesting the “General Strike”

Image: Picketers behind explosion overlay; red background. Text: Manifesting the General Strike

If you’ve spent any time in left organizing spaces over the past ten or twenty years, especially online, you’ve probably heard people say “we’re having a general strike! Everyone out!” And then predictably, nothing happens. It’s almost an inside-joke among left organizers that if you say “general strike,” they’re the magical words that will make everyone go out of work.

Building Playgrounds for the Rich and Jails for the Poor

Image: Dollar signs falling out of the sky; overlayed with prison bars. Text: Building Playgrounds for the Rich & Jails for the Poor

Who says that government can’t give us nice things? Just this week, Monroe County approved $4.3 million in tax exemptions for the latest sports fad, Topgolf, to come to CityGate. While its proponents tout jobs, tourism, and reinvestment in the local economy, without a doubt there exist more beneficial means of achieving these goals. This is just the latest insult by a political class demonstrating who they work for—not the working class, but the idle rich.

Review: The Exhausted of the Earth

For socialist organizers, the book sets the task of finding ways to speak to these “Exhausted,” and to direct their spontaneous actions toward constructive ends. To quote Fanon, “things must be explained to them; the people must see where they are going, and how they are to get there.” Chaudhary’s The Exhausted of the Earth provides us a valuable explanation.

Transparency & The Reservoir

Our city has a transparency problem. While we have several amazing projects by movement journalists, broadly our news media avoids controversial topics, focusing on journalistic work which advertises this city as a good place to drive to. What that leads to is a shockingly petty and personalistic political space, where politics is often a matter of loyalty or disdain for particular political figures, rather than anything substantial. It also leads to the vast majority of the people in this city not understanding that the issues they face are political issues which they can change. The image we basically get is of a city where nothing happens, or at least nothing that any one person can affect.

Rochester Food Sovereignty: Grow Your Own Food and Buy from Local Farmers

To disentangle your diet from the tentacles of the global chemical-industrial food system, you can practice what world peasants of La Via Campesina call food sovereignty. You can grow at least some of your own food and buy the rest from area farms or from stores that buy from them. Buying from a farm may be less convenient than shopping at a grocery, but we will not shift from corporate capitalism to a solidarity economy until we all help make it happen.


Cover image for Rochester Red Star, May 2024 Issue. Logo: Rochester Red Star (Black text with Red Star). ROC DSA logo, with "Democratic Socialists of America Rochester NY." Artwork: stamped flowers; Red rose and yellow sunflower. With textured leaves on either side. Purple flowers at bottom with moss. Flower borders on left and right, green ribbon border top and bottom.

Welcome to the inaugural issue of ROC DSA’s monthly newsletter, Rochester Red Star. I hope this project will help to accomplish goals I announced while running for Steering Committee: Expanding our capacity for political education to develop class consciousness; improving our organizing capabilities and community structures to establish foundations for the future; and building transparency and communication between Steering Committee and membership.

May this be one step along the path to carving out a left media sphere that will form the intellectual basis for a vibrant socialist politics in our region. I encourage you to get involved by submitting articles, photos, event write-ups, and feedback. Together, a better world is possible.

University of Rochester Students Call for Reversal of Ban on Students Peacefully Protesting on Campus

Five days into our encampment, our reasonable demands to the University of Rochester Administration remain. We continue to call on UR Administration to: (1) join the City of Rochester and Universities across the country in Calling for a ceasefire, and (2) fully divest from all academic ties to the state of Israel. Until the demands are met, or we are forcibly removed, we will remain peacefully on the Eastman Quad, drawing attention to the University of Rochester’s support of apartheid and genocide. Additionally we are now calling upon the University to lift these unreasonable bans and allow us to continue our peaceful protest.