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

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



Home Defense on North Goodman


Just like everywhere else in America, heroine has struck Rochester with a fury. These needles were found in Seneca Park.




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



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


Climate Justice March in downtown Rochester.


Judy Bello, a frequent guest on The Broken Spear Vision. Often she discusses the connection between war and poverty. Listen here The Broken Spear Vision


Prayer flags on Genesee Street


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.


Sanders defeat was a major blow to the progressive movement in Rochester. This rally at Monroe Community College was full of expectations unfulfilled.



George Payne at the 2014 “Moral Monday” action in Albany


Young protester at Climate Justice rally in Rochester


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





A Tale of Two Cities

“Once poverty is gone, we’ll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations. They’ll wonder why poverty continued so long in human society – how a few people could live in luxury while billions dwelt in misery, deprivation and despair.”
Muhammad Yunus, Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism

Austin Steward Mural
Austin Steward Mural
Austin Steward Mural



Mayor Lovely Warren at the City Age Conference in the Harro East Ballroom. The Warren Administration must make poverty their top priority. 


Student protester at a 2014 Moral Monday rally in Albany



Black Lives Matter rally at the Rochester Hall of Justice.



Shirley Thompson, Take Back the Land organizer



Poverty wages are making corporations billions of dollars


Whether whites are comfortable or not, Black Lives Matter has come to Rochester. As Martin Luther King Jr., once said, “It is always the right time to do the right thing”. As a community we need to come together to fight systemic injustice, institutional racism, and New Jim Crow laws and policies. In Rochester, we must end the “School to Prison Pipeline” and institute restorative justice practices into our schools. As for the Rochester Police Department, we need to actively engage and respect their role as servants of the public.   






The fight is real

“If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.”
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


Fight for $15 Rally at The University of Rochester


Is the New Deal Dead?



Luis Torres, Metro Justice member speaking at a Fight for $15 Rally at the University of Rochester


Mural in the Northeast



Pope Francis, the world’s champion of social justice

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”
Mother Teresa, A Simple Path: Mother Teresa



Climate Justice March in Rochester. Green jobs is the way forward.



Tents in Sanctuary Village, a makeshift community for homeless people living under the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Bridge. The camp was uprooted by the City of Rochester after several months of being in operation. 


Nazareth professor Harry Murray delivering a speech the night of Sanctuary Village’s formation. The community negotiated late into the night with the Warren Admin and Chief of Police to find a temporary location for the encampment. 


Sanctuary Village Supply Tent


Home Defense

“I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.”
Eugene V. Debs



Environmental Justice is Economic Justice



Moral Monday in Albany with the Rev. William Barber



Staff with Metro Justice talking on  The Broken Spear Vision

“Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! – I have as much soul as you, – and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you!”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre



Home Defense off North Goodman.




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