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Instructions From Your Host

thank you for joining us! you can find hirst lounge (aka the flag lounge) on the second floor of wilson commons by walking through the main entrance, going up the stairs (or taking the elevator) and looking on your right. this is a peaceful protest! feel free to bring signage of your choosing :)

Discussion Board

  • Paul Wilson

    Everyone, the Extinction Rebellion has arrived in Rochester!

    #HelpWanted for non-violent, civil disobedience. Together we can #RebelForLife and force our gov't to #TellTheTruth.

    One does not need to be willing to be arrested to participate. There are many ways to contribute.
    Join here at:

    Here is an edited copy of an email I received...

    My name is Rick, and I am the Extinction Rebellion-US Liaison for our new local group, XR Rochester. About two weeks ago, we formed a local chapter of XR following guidance from XR-US, and we had our first conference call with them in late September. In fact, we have just been listed on their website, ...

    In the coming weeks and months, we aim to facilitate and/or host trainings on strategy and tactics, including legal, organization, media, art, and outreach trainings. Before we plan our first action, we want to ensure everyone is up to speed and well versed in XR philosophy and best practices. We also plan on meeting biweekly, either in-person or via secure video conference, to plan our future events and actions. Finally, we will also be holding elections for leadership positions as soon as we reach a quorum of members.

    We do recommend that you setup a free, secure ProtonMail email account to use in future communications, as security is a cornerstone of our group. Thanks again for your interest!


    Extinction Rebellion-US Liaison
    XR Rochester
    Rochester, NY

  • Cass Doyle

    Patrick— I agree. Increased gas prices would help a lot. People would start carpooling or taking mass transit; maybe they would even start biking or walking. There would be a greater push for green energy and our downtown, with the necessary infrastructure already in place, might experience a renaissance with people returning to live or at the very least shopping in the heart of the city.
    Houses that are 3,000 square feet are not sustainable. Most of them are energy hogs from start to finish!

  • Cass Doyle

    Dwain— I am blown away by the apathy and complacency of residents in Monroe County. During the summer of 2018, we experienced our hottest temperatures on record with 25 days of over 90 degree heat. I was beside myself— I don’t have air conditioning, but no one I knew was complaining. But why would they? They go from their air-conditioned houses to their air-conditioned cars to their air-conditioned offices. Then the lucky ones have pools or belong to clubs to cool off in when they aren’t in air conditioning. What do they care about the rest of the world?
    On top of that, the best selling cars in upstate New York are Ram Pickups, Ford F’s, and Chevy Silverados, all of which we all know get TERRIBLE mileage. Fossil fuels be damned when I can be cool driving and idling my truck.
    Then there’s our pesticide use— the second worst in all of New York State. And finally segregation and poverty. Monroe County has the most intense segregation in the state and the poorest children. Rochester ranks among the worst in the country for graduation rates.
    So Monroe County is supremely apathetic. Last summer, after the horrible heat, I wanted to get a billboard on some well-commuted highway that would read: Global Warming is Real. What are YOU doing about it???
    My church didn’t want to fund it. I thought I’d try a GoFundMe. But I’d love support.
    What do you think?

    • Patrick Suter

      Unfortunately, people won’t change their habits until excess consumption becomes prohibitively expensive i.e the price of gasoline, natural gas and electricity skyrockets. Monroe county is already feeling the effects of extreme weather in the form of high winds, flooding, along the shoreline and extreme heat, but whatever costs have been incurred as a result haven’t been enough to shift. When, NYSEG and RG & E announced they were raising rates, they inadvertently admitted that high winds were damaging their infrastructure and they needed funding to make repairs. No mention of efforts to decarbonize, just more money to secure our continued dependency on fossil fuels.

      We are rapidly approaching the day when it may no longer be practical to own a gas guzzling SUV and heat a 3,000 sq ft in the suburbs. During the financial crisis of 08-09, RTS ridership increased and area dealerships struggled to push SUVs and trucks in part because the price of gas.

    • Gretchen Schulz

      Cass, I have noted all you have shared and seen it as well but it's not just Monroe County, NY, it's the entire country with the exception of certain towns in specific states. I believe until these people are not touched personally in general they ignore the Climate Crisis. Sad but we must keep working and sharing with others everywhere we go. Personal conversation in stores or while traveling, with your next door neighbor, your families. Just keep working and sharing.

    • Abraham Starnes

      The problem is we're way beyond the point of this being something that can be resolved by individuals making environmentally friendly changes to their daily habits. This is about raising awareness of about the sense of urgency needed in the face of an existential crisis to our civilization. There has to be pressure to make widespread systemic changes from the top down. Yes, it's a travesty that Americans drive everywhere with one person to a car and that Rochesterians are a little bit more than apathetic about all of it.
      But the way we make changes from here isn't by shaming people into recycling or carpooling to fix a problem they don't see as something that even affects them. You have to make a disruption of business as usual as visible as possible to make people pay attention and wonder what has you so upset. People who didn't take the threat seriously before will start giving it thought and people who took it seriously but didn't act because nobody else was will be encouraged to join in the action and make their voices heard.

      We can all do our individual parts and organize community based action, but awareness and demands accountability from policy makers is the important factor.

    • Gretchen Schulz

      All actions are required. Please don't speak down to ideas or efforts. I think everyone in this group understands what is needed on all levels.

    • Patrick Suter

      That is very true. Facing climate change will require a sea change in how the world conducts business. But the fact remains that people in Monroe County, who are by and large shielded from the worst effects of climate change by wealth and geography, won't be moved to act until their livelihood is impacted.

    • Patrick Suter

      I also want to add that policy is ultimately driven by the constituents because at least on a local level, lawmakers are wise to respond to the demands of the voter base. So if enough people change their behavior, lawmakers will respond accordingly.

    • Dwain Wilder

      Hi Cass, thanks for responding. It seems to me that there are a lot of very active people in Rochester and Monroe County, devoted to a spectrum of causes.

      Regarding the climate crisis, I think apathy itself takes a lot of energy: the energy to constantly be averting one's eyes from what little is to be found on the web, in local news, and avert attention away from a systemic perception of over-extended and under-supported/funded institutions, government regulatory systems, the callousness inherent in so much of Foxed-up News and denialist commentary, the general disappearance of insects and birds notable by anyone living near a large park or forest.

      So the message is difficult. The ability to involve oneself with this work is all the harder when we are in the midst of a comfort and convenience so enveloping as to be a scourge against a systemic understanding of the actual difficulties our comforts rely on.

      So I find the problem in such a situation as we have here about rousing energy for the benefit of the whole region, the whole state, the whole nation, the whole world, when we ourselves can so easily be comfortable, so many of us, is a matter of arousing an understanding of our great privilege. And the huge responsibility that privilege bears, once we really feel that responsibility, see how it makes things easy for oneself by making them hard for others, etc., at a personal experiential level, not just a thought experiment.

      But once we see our privilege and the responsibilities of it, its consequences for ourselves and others, we have two choices: try to run away from or deny our privilege (all but impossible to actually accomplish), or become allies with all who are disadvantaged.

      So, shaming, blaming, scolding, claiming bragging rights, etc. are counterproductive in such a situation. One of the most productive things I find to do, personally, is to be able to listen with deep empathy. We all carry through life everything we need, including the intelligence to learn what we need to grow and thrive. What we perceive as others' failures is almost never a fully aware, determined will to screw other people for one's own advantage (to confront those people you have to make an appointment in a skyscraper somewhere in Houston, NYC, DC, or someplace). We all carry around enormous burdens, and suffer through them with varying degrees of equanimity. When we are deeply listened to, compassionately, with genuine fellow-feeling and interests, those burdens come tumbling to the surface after awhile, and with them sorrow about the suffering they entail.

      So, even in the midst of a crisis, engaging others in activism takes great patience, and some considerable skill at honoring and hearing out each other's stories. It is in those stories, not in facts, through which change emerges, and with that the impulse to act creatively, authentically.

      So, what to do about Monroe County and well-to-do Rochesterians who aren't striking school and businesses, with or without the permission of the very people, sometimes, who are willfully deciding to withhold information about the climate?

      I'd like to see all spiritual leaders, pastors, priests, bishops, rabbis, teachers begin teaching about the scourge that excessive comfort and convenience can be, and the harm it can cause oneself and others, spiritually and materially. Get their congregants more interested in the world and less in their TV, their smartphones and computers, the constant urging to shop, be entertained, be a "consumer." That would in itself be a very radical thing to do. It would wake the seemingly passive and complacent up to the knowledge they already have: that there is a bit of hysteria embedded in all that ceaseless craving so urged upon us by PR firms, advertisers, producers of the 'single-use' gear constantly being upgraded and designed for obsolescence.

      Blocking traffic to stop 'business as usual' comes soon after realizing how "normal" is so over, and our situation is seen for what it is.

      This is a very long answer. Because you have asked a question that bears on a lot I've had in mind about Rochester for a very long time. Thanks!

  • Charlotte Bee

    Good afternoon,

    Between September 20th and 27th millions of us across the globe will walk out of our workplaces and homes to join young climate strikers on the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels!

    Here in Rochester we will show our solidarity with the global community, as we come together to rally and march to specific local spaces to issue our local, state, and federal recommendations and demands.

    Please join us on Friday Sept. 27th at 3:30 pm as we gather in front of Rochester City Hall 30 Church St, Rochester, NY 14614. Please bring your signs, drums, and loudest voices. RSVP for the event here.

    We will be heard! Our house is on fire — let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone!

    Please forward this email to your friends, family, students, etc. We need everyone.


    Rochester Youth Climate Leaders
    Rochester People's Climate Coalition
    Hope Climate Movement
    Earth Guardians Rochester
    Brighton High School Climate Club
    Metro Justice
    Rochester Mother's Out Front
    Sierra Club Rochester
    Rochester NY March for Science
    Pachamama Alliance Rochester
    Rochester Drawdown
    Citizen Action of Rochester NY
    RUSH Rochester


    RAICA (Rochester Area Interfaith Climate Action) is sponsoring a program in support of the Global Climate Strike. People in the faith community are committed to protecting the most vulnerable.
    At 1 pm on September 22 we are gathering at The Islamic Center at 727 Westfall Rd. Our plan is to walk from the Islamic center to other houses of worship ( McQuaid High School, Temple B'rith Kodesh and 12 Corners Presbryterian Church). People who are unable to walk might carpool from stop to stop.) At every stop of this walk, a tree will be planted and a brief story or text from that particular tradition will be shared. We welcome all communities to join us. Bring your own water, bring a friend, make a sign, sing some songs and help support the Global Climate Strike and raise the awareness of both the seriousness of climate change and of our potential for addressing it and investing in our future. For more details you can look up .

  • Cass Doyle

    I just read our City newspaper. They reported the wrong day for the Rochester Climate Strike. It is next Friday, September 27th, not Saturday. Gather at City Hall at 3:30. Spread the word!

  • Paul Wilson

    I rsvp'd but ended up sticking with my solo #climatestrike at the village of Fairport. I experienced a lot of support from passers-by. I'm zenpablo on Twitter if anyone wants to follow/follow-back.

    Sunday, also... This is an excerpt from an email I received through the US Youth Climate Strike Coalition.
    "You are invited to join us as we talk about next steps on a mass strike wrap-up call happening this Sunday, September 22nd at 8:30pm EST / 5:30pm PST. Register for the call here.

    During the call, we’ll be sharing more on how the strike went across the country, details on more ways you can engage with the climate movement, and information on the next strike."

  • Cass Doyle

    Spread the word, make your signs, and hope for a gorgeous day like today to march downtown next Friday. Gather at City Hall by 3:30.
    The war against climate change is going to take more than one day of protests.

  • Stephen Kline

    Exactly! It's downtown, city hall, the press, lights, camera, action. 330, beginning of rush hour. Someone let the press know the kids will be there.
    I just drove thru u of r. No signs, no parking, etc. All that info should have been posted on this site, unless only students at this campus were desired. Build it and they will come, or at least be able to find the way!

  • Abraham Starnes

    Same here! Let's spread the word and hit the streets HARD next week, everyone. Bring your signs and let's make it something impossible to ignore!

  • Suzanne Barry

    Thus is sad! Wrote a week ago about an inside protest had no unlicensed exposure!
    I never saw any discussion from whoever is organizing this!
    I’ll just bring my sign next Friday.

  • Stephen Kline

    So let's all strike hard on the 27th. Make lemonade out of lemons.

  • Cass Doyle

    Here, here, Orchid!

  • Jerry Hayes

    You guys don’t have to roast this girl. Be disappointed if you want but do it somewhere else. It’s petty and annoying.


      Nobody is roasting anybody and nobody wants to discourage those who are active in organizing events to do so in the future.
      But it's obvious that Rochester, which has a substantial student population, has not been able to pull off a major climate strike at the same time that the entire planet is marching.
      The positive outcome of this vocal disappointment on this platform is hopefully increased engagement in the future.

  • Jesse Furnari

    Whoever organized this really dropped the ball, no info on what the event is, i drove all the way here just to find out its an indoor teach in? And the organizer appears not to be responding to this discussion board. Really disappointed that nothing is happening in rochester today. Thats just sad. If i had known that this wasnt an actual protest i would have organized a actual event.

    • Jesse Furnari

      Managed to find the event, was really good to see so many people there, still disappointed at what the event was. Weve been talking and talking for decades about how to fix this crisis, its time to stand up and get out in the streets and demand action! I hope to see yall at city hall next week! We need to show rochester that we are not going to stay quiet any more!

  • Cass Doyle

    Perhaps one reason for Rochester's apathy may be that we have the 3rd highest poverty rate for any large city in the US. Our poor people have so many more pressing issues than congregating downtown for a strike. We owe it to ourselves to help them out of poverty by whatever means possible so that they, too, can help us win our war against big, narcissistic businesses.

    • Dwain Wilder

      True enough, Cass, about the Rochester poverty rate. But most Rochesterians, which includes its college students and suburban residents, live in an exceptional 'sweet spot', as Sue Staropoli mentioned in her remarks at the teach-in —no tornadoes, huge storms, drought, heat, major conflagrations.

      So there are lots of people in and around Rochester who are exceptionally comfortable and thereby very privileged. And with that privilege comes high responsibility. If those living in comfort leave the work of responding to this crisis to those who are already experiencing it, that is a high moral failing. Those who are experiencing are doing the best they can to survive, sometimes in the face of destroyed homes and nowhere to go, no money.

      Using our privilege to be good allies with the disadvantaged is a good thing, and many are at work in Rochester on that. For me, the haunting question is, Why is it that so few Rochesterians of means, students and adults alike, are ready to take action on the existential crisis that will affect them and their children?

      They are like a man falling from a great height, saying "Well, hmmm. So far so good!"

  • Gay Smith

    I'm here at U of R and people are congregating.

  • Margaret Shaw

    Wait, there’s no strike today? I was just about to head over

  • Danielle Stevens

    Agreed, so let’s just do it here after the talks.


    Buffalo is at 2pm and Syracuse at 11:30am. But do we really want to drive our cars for more than 2 hours combined to protest climate action? Hm...not ideal.

    • Cathryn Pavone

      From an ethical standpoint- the emissions produced to drive our cars to buffalo or syracuse for one day are far less than the damage these corporations are doing in 1 hour, and if a great number of people gathering in one day can show we want change and leads to a corporation changing its ways or legislature being passed to make a large scale impact then it is absolutely worth it to drive your car, if you stay home and do nothing, nothing will change

    • Cathryn Pavone

      what would be ideal is if we had better councilmembers, activists, and residents like they do in other cities that organized whole entire events to take part in changing the earth but we don’t have that situation do we

  • Danielle Stevens

    If we really feel that strongly why don’t we all just go out and protest anyways

  • Cathryn Pavone

    This is absolutely heartbreaking that we are not having a strike in Rochester today when literally every other city on earth is, including Islamabad Pakistan. We call ourselves a liberal artistic city but Buffalo seems to care more about climate change then we do! If anyone wants to actually be part of the global community today and show they care there are big events in Buffalo and Ithaca, shame on this city

  • Camille Martina

    As far as I know starts inside. I am not the student organizer. Faculty at the medical center. This is happening on River Campus.


    @Camille - inside or outside?
    @Anybody: how many people at RIT? "I will be in the infinity quad handing out flyers and talking to people, feel free to join and do the same."

  • Camille Martina

    University of Rochester student are striking at 11am at Wilson Commons.

  • Cass Doyle

    Orchid, I totally agree with you!
    NYC's kids have the day off to strike. Go, Greta, may you inspire lawmakers in DC to CHANGE!

  • Stephen Kline

    Its a week of work we are doing. Look closer on the zip search, and you will see a 10 am event at RIT, and a Sunday interfaith march from the Muslim Center, planting trees at various places. Then the final area event on the 27th. They ALL matter!


    Thanks, Cass. What a miss! The whole world is striking today, and we here in Rochester do it a week later? Seriously missing an opportunity here.

  • Cass Doyle

    It is primarily a teach-in event.
    Next Friday at City a Hall at 3:30, there will be a protest and march.


    Seconding Abraham's question: Is the 20th event at UofR only indoors?? Please somebody let us know. I might be heading to RIT instead.

  • Abraham Starnes

    I guess I will attend both, on second thought. See everyone there!

  • Abraham Starnes

    So there will be a protest/march on the street on the 27th, but not on the 20th? I'd be happy to participate in visible action, but if the only thing happening on the 20th is an indoor talk at the U of R I may just wait for the following week.
    Can anyone confirm that there will be any kind of protest on the 20th at all?

  • Cass Doyle

    Friends— There are many places to park near City Hall. On the 27th at 3:30, you may find parking on the street. If not, there are several private parking lots in the area and one huge garage, the Sister Cities Garage, on the same street as City Hall. People will be gathering at 3:30 and begin marching at 4. We plan on stopping at the County Legislature Building, RG&E, and the Federal Building, totaling little over a mile. Hopefully the weather will be beautiful, we will have a huge crowd, and we get attention from the media.

  • Steve  Aman

    Does anyone know how the parking works here?

  • Joshua Evans

    Is anyone else coming from RIT? I could use a carpool, or drive some other people. I have a car, it just feels kind of gross to drive to a climate change protest.

  • Suzanne Barry

    This same issue has occurred with the Sept 20th Strike at the UR. Being inside doesn’t expose others

  • Cass Doyle

    Lovers of our planet— There will be a gathering at City Hall, 30 Church Street, Rochester, on September 27th at 3:30 to let government and businesses know that we can no longer accept the status quo.The event is being organized by the youth-led Rochester Climate Strike International—#StrikeWithUs.
    I hope you’ll join us! ?

  • Steve  Aman

    Absolutely great idea. Visibility is key.

  • Abraham Starnes

    Hi, everyone. I was wondering what the plan is for after the speakers and teaching session are done. I'm not familiar with the building so I don't know what this lounge looks like. Is this place with enough visibility to capture the attention of others?

    Either way, I wanted to suggest that we should gather and demonstrate outside of the federal building and city hall after the initial event is over. A big part of this is increasing awareness of the fact that the climate crisis is an emergency and that all us need to start acting like it instead of carrying on with business as usual.

    For that reason, outside city hall would create a lot of exposure as well as provide an opportunity to explain our cause for anyone who is curious. Also, that location would reflect that we're demanding action from our leaders and representatives on a massive scale because broad sweeping reforms are the only to pull us back from the brink.

    Just wanted to share that idea in case anybody would be interested in participating that way in addition to the speaking event.

Rochester, NY Strike

Start: Friday, September 20, 201911:00 AM

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