2016: Rochester Residents Make Demands Heard in Various Protests

If you know even a tiny bit of Rochester’s history, you know it’s never been a silent city. From the 1964 riots to the North Star, Rochester residents have always dared to question American institutions.

And 2016 was no different.

Over the past 12 months, residents of all backgrounds gathered to remind the world that Black Lives Matter, and that the hate Trump mobilized throughout the nation wouldn’t be tolerated here. They also stood up for the rights of indigenous people at Standing Rock and for those without water in Flint.

While Open Mic Rochester was unable to go to every rally and protest in Rochester, check out some photos from those we were able to attend. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more great pictures and to share your images with us! Please also consider letting us know of future demonstrations at tmanon@openmicroc.com.

BLM: Kids Version

Zaire Downs organizes local kids’ support for Black Lives Matter movement. The children, of all backgrounds, showed their support with signs and music playing in the back. While some argued the children were put up to it, advocates argued that children often see these issues firsthand and Aiyana Jones was just seven when police killed her raiding the wrong home.

Black Lives Matter Protest:

One of the largest rallies in the city saw over 70 people arrested and East End shut down for 12 hours. The local protest was part of a string of city protests against police brutality and the lack of accountability in the justice system. You can hear from protestors themselves here.


In an effort to reaffirm Rochester’s love for all Americans, residents gathered to discuss the need for tolerance and togetherness in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s election.

National Day of Prayer:

On the softer side but still just as powerful local officials gathered at City Hall to pray against the violence in the city and to remember those lost. Lovely Mayor Warren and local religious leaders led the event.

Jeffrey Bordeaux:

A one man protest band, Bordeaux is protesting the 2011 death of his son Jeffrey Bordeaux Jr. Bordeaux was stabbed by another student who was found not guilty and Bordeaux continues to maintain the University of Rochester was complicit in the finding of this verdict.

India Cummings:

The Buffalo resident, Rochester native died in custody while in a Buffalo holding center. She’d been complaining of health issues for weeks but was consistently denied any treatment. When she was finally to be transferred to a health center she was beaten so severely that she later died in custody.

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