Flying Squirrel Community Space

Who we are

The Flying Squirrel is a welcoming space for artists, activists, and community members in Rochester. We aim to cultivate and sustain long lasting relationships so we can work together to create positive social change.

More about us.

  • 285 Clarissa St. Rochester NY, 14608
  • 585-205-8778

What's Happening?

Using the Space

Need a space to hold your event? We'd love to work with you. We host all kinds of events including group meetings, private parties, music shows, film screenings, speakers, and more.

Public Forum: Police Accountability Board NOW!

Community Forum: Police Accountability Board NOW!
7pm – 9pm
April 19, 2018
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church
304 Joseph Ave, Rochester, NY 14605

This event is wheelchair accessible. ASL interpretation provided!

This forum will give the public information about the proposed Police Accountability Board. Panelists will also give a campaign update and provide actions people can take. There will be time for Q&A. We have been building momentum over the last year for the campaign to pas the PAB! We need your help and support to bring together and mobilize the community and organizations to push it through.

Please share the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/217405489011253/

Enough Is Enough is raising money for an independent legal opinion concerning community control and the disciplining of officers and PAB related costs. Please donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/pab-legal-opinion-fund?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=campaign_link_t&utm_campaign=welcome

HAPPY MAY DAY! "Bubble Gum for Karl Marx" a lecture presented by Ian Downey

HAPPY MAY DAY (weekend)!!!

“Bubble Gum for Karl Marx” a lecture presented by Ian Downey
6:30 PM
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Flying Squirrel Community Space
285 Clarissa St.
Rochester, NY
Suggested donation: $5
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/240977423141268/

In celebration of Karl Marx's 200th birthday, Ian Downey will talk about his life and work. But don't expect the typical dogmatic picture of Marx that is relentlessly bandied about by his detractors - and supporters. Ian will point out some of the lesser known aspects of this complex and paradoxical personality, in a talk that is sure to entertain, to confuse, and to enrage people from every side of every political issue. Come with questions.

About Ian Downey:
TBA

Other events over the May Day weekend at the Flying Squirrel:
-Community campfire in the parking lot of the Flying Squirrel Community Space, Saturday, May 5, 2018, free, 8:30 PM;
-May Day / Labor related Monday Mayhem, Monday, May 7, 2018, suggested donation $5, 7:00 PM.

Watch The Force–hosted by Enough Is Enough

Watch PBS’s “The Force”–hosted by Enough Is Enough
Part of the “Intersections of Rebellion & Accountability” film and discussion series!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Flying Squirrel Community Space
285 Clarissa St.
Rochester, NY
Suggested donation: $5
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2070555923222967/

Trailer

About PBS’s “The Force”:
At a powder keg moment in American policing, The Force presents a fly-on-the-wall look deep inside the long-troubled Oakland Police Department as it struggles to confront federal demands for reform, a popular uprising following events in Ferguson, Missouri, and an explosive sex scandal.

Filmmaker Pete Nicks embedded with the department over the course of two years to follow OPD’s serial efforts to recast itself. The film spotlights the new chief, hailed as a reformer, who is brought into effect reform at the very moment the Black Lives Matter movement emerges to demand police accountability and racial justice both in Oakland and across the nation.

The Force also follows the journey of young cops in the Police Academy who are learning how to police in a new era of transparency and accountability. Out on the street, the camera gets up close as rookie and veteran officers alike face an increasingly hostile public where dueling narratives surround each use of force. Under scrutiny as never before, these officers respond to a constant flood of 911 calls, and the film reveals the wide gulf between how cops see themselves and how they are seen by the public.

Despite growing public distrust, the OPD begins garnering national attention as a model of police reform. But just as the department is on the verge of a breakthrough, the man charged with turning the department around faces the greatest challenge of his career when a scandal breaks out.

About Enough Is Enough:
The work of Enough Is Enough is twofold. First, we accompany people going through the criminal justice system who have experienced police brutality, racial profiling, and harassment by the Rochester Police Department. We offer emotional and tactical support, demystify the law, attend court proceedings, and provide direct support e.g. rides to meetings with lawyers or court appearances; and secondly, we work toward systemic change in law enforcement through policy recommendations supported by aggregate data and personal testimonies of police violence in our community.

About “Intersections of Rebellion & Accountability” film and discussion series:
Enough Is Enough (EIE) has been an integral part of the campaign to pass the Police Accountability Board (PAB) here in Rochester, NY. It looks as if City Council will act in the spring of 2018. Enough Is Enough and the over 75 supporting organizations and affected individuals have moved into the next chapter of this campaign: getting an ordinance passed by City Council that gives the community control over their police department.

The experiences of systemic police violence, structural racism, poverty, degraded housing stock and red lining, lack of jobs, and inadequate education led many communities of color in cities across the nation, including Newark, NJ and Rochester, NY, to rebel against the oppressive conditions they faced (and continue to face today). Race rebellions consumed Rochester, NY in July 1964 and Newark, NJ in July 1967. Oakland saw the rise of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in 1966 to protect people of color from the racism and brutality of the Oakland Police Department. More recently, in 2009, Oscar Grant was shot and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit officer leading to a week of rebellion and calls for the arrest of the officer. The struggle for racial, political, and economic justice continues in both cities, and across the nation.

Over the next few months, EIE will host several film events and discussions culminating in a panel discussion. The purpose is educational: to highlight current examples of police oversight bodies with substantive powers—conferring power to the community—while offering inspiration and possibilities of substantive police accountability in Rochester, NY. Ordinances passed in Newark, NJ and Oakland, CA essentially include all the powers that activists and community members have been demanding for the last half century, and more recently in the proposed PAB, in Rochester:

  1. The PAB must be an agency of the city, independent of the Rochester Police Department (RPD);
  2. The PAB must have independent investigative authority;
  3. The PAB must have subpoena power;
  4. The PAB must have disciplinary power over officers who are found to have committed misconduct; and
  5. The PAB must have the authority to assess, review, and make changes to RPD policies and procedures.

We began this series with “Revolution ’67” about the race rebellion in Newark, NJ. Then we screened “July ’64” about the race rebellion in Rochester, NY. In March, we will show “Policing the Police,” a documentary updating viewers from 1967 to 2016 where Newark’s new CCRB was passed into law. After this, we'll show “The Force” looking at Oakland’s police department, their history, and their new Police Accountability Commission, a cutting-edge piece of legislation granting disciplinary power among others to the Oakland community. Finally, the series will end with an as yet TBA panel discussion with representatives from Newark, Rochester, and Oakland in April.

The film series has three goals:

  1. to be an educational opportunity to inform the public about the PAB;
  2. to compare Newark and Rochester, the struggles in each city, and highlight the very real possibility of getting a PAB here in Rochester; and
  3. to be a mini fundraiser for EIE.

Documents pertaining to each city will be available for participants to take home and review.

Please join us.

Enough Is Enough!

Watch Policing the Police-hosted by Enough Is Enough

Watch Frontline's "Policing The Police"–hosted by Enough Is Enough
Another film in the series "Intersections of Rebellion & Accountability!

Saturday, March 17, 2018
4:00pm - 6:00pm
Flying Squirrel Community Space
285 Clarissa St.
Rochester, NY
Suggested donation: $5
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/701209716935044/

Trailer

About Frontline's "Policing The Police”:
(from: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2016/jun/23/frontline-policing-police/) In a new documentary called “Policing The Police,” FRONTLINE and New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb take viewers on a rare, up-close journey inside one police department that’s been ordered to change its ways: the force in Newark, New Jersey.

“Since the 1967 riots that erupted after the beating of a black cab driver by two white police officers, the Newark Police Department has been haunted by allegations of discriminatory policing, excessive use of force, and a severe lack of accountability,” says Cobb, a historian at Columbia Journalism School who has written about issues of race and policing for The New Yorker for years.

After a three-year investigation, the DOJ found systemic civil rights abuses by the Newark police, noting that approximately 75 percent of stops by officers had no legal justification. The DOJ also found cases where police used excessive force against residents, stole their belongings, and arrested people for criticizing or questioning their actions — and it ordered Newark to reform.

With gripping, on-the-ground access, “Policing The Police” gives viewers a raw and complex look at the challenge of changing how cops operate in a place like Newark: a poor city plagued by violent crime, where the victims and the perpetrators are usually black, and the police force itself is largely black and Latino.

The documentary examines the difficulties of fixing a broken relationship with the community after decades of mutual mistrust — from riding along with officers as they conduct “field inquiries” (a practice that was the focus of much of the DOJ’s investigation), to talking with community members themselves, to showing tense internal meetings with top city and police officials. The film also includes candid scenes and interviews with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, a former activist who went to college with Cobb, and is now trying to shake up the department from the inside.

“Is it possible to make impoverished, crime-ridden communities safe while still respecting people’s constitutional rights?” Cobb asks. Explore that question in “Policing The Police” — a nuanced glimpse into how topics in the national discussion about race and policing are playing out every day on the streets of Newark, in community members’ homes, and in the city's police precincts. Building on FRONTLINE’s extensive reporting on the effectiveness of the DOJ’s earlier police reform efforts, the film is a must-watch look inside a police force in transition, and a powerful case study in the broader debate over policing in America.

About Enough Is Enough:
The work of Enough Is Enough is twofold. First, we accompany people going through the criminal justice system who have experienced police brutality, racial profiling, and harassment by the Rochester Police Department. We offer emotional and tactical support, demystify the law, attend court proceedings, and provide direct support e.g. rides to meetings with lawyers or court appearances; and secondly, we work toward systemic change in law enforcement through policy recommendations supported by aggregate data and personal testimonies of police violence in our community.

About the film and discussion series Intersections of Rebellion & Accountability:
Enough Is Enough (EIE) has been an integral part of the campaign to pass the Police Accountability Board (PAB) here in Rochester, NY. It looks as if City Council will act in the spring of 2018. Enough Is Enough and the over 75 supporting organizations and affected individuals have moved into the next chapter of this campaign: getting an ordinance passed by City Council that gives the community control over their police department.

The experiences of systemic police violence, structural racism, poverty, degraded housing stock and red lining, lack of jobs, and inadequate education led many communities of color in cities across the nation, including Newark, NJ, and Rochester, NY, to rebel against the oppressive conditions they faced (and continue to face today). Race rebellions consumed Rochester, NY in July 1964 and Newark, NJ in July 1967. The struggle for racial, political, and economic justice continues in both cities, and across the nation.

Over the next few months, EIE is going to be hosting several film events and discussions culminating in a panel discussion. The purpose is primarily educational: to highlight the similarities between Newark, NJ and Rochester, NY and show how one city, Newark, was able to pass its Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), which essentially houses all the powers that activists and community members have been demanding for the last half century, and more recently in the proposed PAB, in Rochester:

  1. The PAB must be an agency of the city, independent of the Rochester Police Department (RPD);
  2. The PAB must have independent investigative authority;
  3. The PAB must have subpoena power;
  4. The PAB must have disciplinary power over officers who are found to have committed misconduct; and
  5. The PAB must have the authority to assess, review, and make changes to RPD policies and procedures.

We begin this series with “Revolution ’67.” We will then screen “July ’64” at the end of the month. In March, we will show “Policing the Police,” a documentary updating viewers from 1967 to 2016 where Newark’s new CCRB was passed into law. After this, we'll show “The Force” looking at Oakland, CA’s police department, their history, and their new Police Accountability Commission, a cutting-edge piece of legislation granting disciplinary power among other powers to the Oakland community. Finally, the series will end with an as yet TBA panel discussion with representatives from Newark, Rochester, and Oakland in April.

The film series has three goals:

  1. to be an educational opportunity to inform the public about the PAB;
  2. to compare Newark and Rochester, the struggles in each city, and highlight the very real possibility of getting a PAB here in Rochester; and
  3. to be a mini fundraiser for EIE.

Documents pertaining to each city will be available for participants to take home and review.

Please join us.

Enough Is Enough!

March Monday Mayhem: Find out about City Roots Community Land Trust!

Come find out about a new Community Land Trust in Rochester, NY! Not sure what that is or what it means? Join us for March Monday Mayhem as members of the City Roots CLT come to the Flying Squirrel to talk about their work, how you can get involved, and answer your questions!

Monday, March 5, 2018
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Flying Squirrel Community Space
285 Clarissa St.
Rochester, NY
Donations welcome!
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/517211402005980/

About City Roots Community Land Trust:
Established in 2016, the City Roots CLT is a community-driven organization which works to establish and promote permanently-affordable, quality housing in Rochester, NY. Their website: https://www.cityrootsclt.org/

City Roots' Mission:
The City Roots Community Land Trust’s mission is to permanently preserve housing affordability in Rochester, New York through community owned and managed land, to empower neighbors, and to bridge socioeconomic divisions.

City Roots' Vision:
The City Roots Community Land Trust vision is to strengthen the Rochester community by cultivating the perspective that land owned by the community can help make housing a human right and affordable for all. We are a collaborative of homeowners, renters, youth, community allies and partners.

About Monday Mayhem:
On the first Monday of every month, the Flying Squirrel hosts special programming that forgoes the technical and logistical concerns of running an open-use community space in order to take a closer look at the impact of our actions on the community and our potential as a catalyst for change.

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