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.

A Police Accountability System with teeth for March Monday Mayhem!

For March Monday Mayhem, the Flying Squirrel Community Space has invited authors Barbara Lacker-Ware and Theodore Forsyth to discuss their recently released report on the failures of the Civilian Review Board in Rochester and their solution, the Police Accountability Board.

March Monday Mayhem: A Police Accountability System with teeth!
Monday, March 6, 2017
7:00PM - 9:00PM
Flying Squirrel Community Space
285 Clarissa St.
Rochester, NY
Facebook Event:

The discussion is free and open to the public.

The authors are bringing bound copies of the report with them to distribute for a donation of $5.

Check out Gary Craig's first article about the report: Critics seek overhaul of police conduct review (

About “The Case for an Independent Police Accountability System: Transforming the Civilian Review Process in Rochester, New York”

In response to decades of concern about Rochester Police Department (RPD) accountability and racial profiling, The Case for an Independent Police Accountability System: Transforming the Civilian Review Process in Rochester, New York has just been published. The document reflects two years of research and in-depth investigation in which authors Barbara Lacker-Ware and Theodore Forsyth have formalized earlier work by the Coalition for Police Reform—under the leadership of Reverend Lewis Stewart and Kaelyn Rich—and Enough is Enough, Rochester.

The document presents data-driven findings on the RPD oversight process, officer discipline, and Civilian Review Board (CRB) management. It examines the process of investigating unnecessary use of force, subsequent review of related civilian complaints, and the lack of public transparency and accountability. After reviewing the report, University of Nebraska Professor Emeritus Dr. Samuel Walker from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice wrote, “It is probably the best such proposal from a community group that I have seen. Your report has clearly documented the problems with the existing system of oversight in Rochester. It is a truly impressive report.”

Among its many examples, the report cites the following facts:

From 2002-2015, only 2% of civilian complaints of unnecessary force have been sustained by the Chief of Police and only 5% by the Civilian Review Board. (In contrast, Syracuse’s Citizen Review Board’s sustain rate was 23% in 2015.)

From 2008-2013, the RPD Professional Standards Section did not sustain ANY civilian complaints for unnecessary use of force.

During the 14 years reviewed in the data, the harshest penalties meted out to police officers for sustained complaints of excessive use of force were six suspensions.

The document’s second half proposes an ordinance—through legislation enacted by the Rochester City Council—that would abolish the current Civilian Review Board, replacing it with a Police Accountability Board with the capacity to conduct its own investigations into civilian complaints, subpoena testimony and evidence, and discipline RPD officers who have committed the misconduct with which they are charged by civilian complainants. Included throughout the publication are more than a dozen documented cases exemplifying the use of excessive force by RPD officers.

Lacker-Ware and Forsyth make the case that the City of Rochester’s civilian review process embodied in the CRB does not adequately address the instances of police misconduct by RPD officers. Currently, civilian complaints are filed with the Professional Standards Section (PSS)—the RPD’s own internal affairs office—which investigates them. These investigations and their findings then are submitted to the CRB and the Chief of Police, who each make their own findings. The CRB has no power to independently investigate complaints, compel testimony or evidence, or discipline officers. The Chief of Police makes the final determination as to whether the complaint against the officer is sustained, and if so, what, if any discipline is administered.

The authors researched annual reports of the CRB (2001-2015) and the PSS (2002-2015), as well as the history and current workings of Rochester’s civilian review processes. They compared the CRB, PSS, and Chief of Police findings and recommendations. They examined how the CRB was established, its make-up and funding, and reviewed disciplinary consequences imposed by the RPD in instances of officer misconduct. They also studied and compared civilian review processes in other cities. Results showed that the CRB has no power to investigate complaints. Instead, the police, through PSS, conduct all complaint investigations, with CRB findings often mirroring PSS findings. There is no appeal process.

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.

Flying Squirrel Community Space OPEN House!

What, Who, How, Is the Flying Squirrel Community Space???
Maybe you already have an idea, or maybe you've never heard of the place!
Either way: come on by for an
Open House
-Check out what resources are available here
-Network with other activists and artists in our area
-Dream of what you'd like to see at the space
-Socialize while enjoying tasty snacks and drinks
-Rochester Food Not Bombs will be providing some of the food!

Sat. Feb 11, 2017
Flying Squirrel Community Space
285 Clarissa St.
Rochester, NY
Facebook event:

FEB Monday Mayhem: Rochester Food Not Bombs!

Come out for Monday Mayhem and engage (and eat) with Rochester Food Not Bombs as they present on their organization and how you can get involved!

Monday, February 6, 2017
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Flying Squirrel Community Space
285 Clarissa St.
Rochester, NY
Facebook event:
there will be FREE VEGAN FOOD!

Join Rochester Food Not Bombs for the Feburary Monday Mayhem, hosted by the FlyingSquirrel CommunitySpace!

We will have a brief presentation about the Food Not Bombs movement, discussing the history and philisophy of Food Not Bombs as a global effort, then focusing on all the different work that our local group is involved in. This will be a great opportuity to meet some of our regular volunteers! A great way to learn about all the different ways to get involved!

In Food Not Bombs style, we will have FREE VEGAN FOOD!!

Hoping to also facilitate a round table conversation around some of the implications of our new political climate — and how to preserve and protect our direct action work.

Join us for the evening to learn all about Rochester Food Not Bombs and how to get involved!

Free Vegan Food!
FNB swag available for a small doation!

Rochester Food Not Bombs recovers and shares free vegetarian and vegan meals in our local community. We recognize poverty as a form of violence and believe access to food should be viewed as a right, rather than a privilege: food should be a source of nutrition for people, not profit under capitalism. In this practice we strive to reduce waste by turning donated food into productive meals. We source our ingredients through collaborations with flower city pickers at the public market as well as local restaurants and cafes. We are an all-volunteer run group, with no hierarchy or formal leaders, making decisions based on consensus. Through Community organizing and outreach, we support other local and national peace and justice groups to create a broader sense of social responsibility. If you would like to get involved please contact us!

Community not Capitalism! Solidarity not Charity! FOOD NOT BOMBS!

“By sharing free food without restrictions, we illustrate the fact that there is an abundance of the things we need and that scarcity is a fiction that benefits a small minority”

What is 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.

Watch "At the River I Stand" in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of MLK Day, the Flying Squirrel Community Space is screening the film “At the River I Stand.”

A screening of “At the River I Stand”
Sunday, January 22, 2017, 3pm - 5pm
Flying Squirrel Community Space, 285 Clarissa St.
Suggested donation: $5
Facebook event:


About the film:
Memphis, Tennessee. Spring 1968 marked the dramatic climax of the Civil Rights movement. “At the River I Stand” documents the transformation of a 65 day strike by 1,300 sanitation workers into a national struggle. The film builds connections between civil rights & workers’ rights, racial & economic justice & explores how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s support of the strikers made him a more despised target, ending in the tragedy of his death.

Benefit for Earth First! and Standing Rock Comrades

Saturday, December 17, 2016
12pm - 10pm
Flying Squirrel Community Space
285 Clarissa St.
Rochester, NY

We start the day off with a Local Holiday Bazarr at Noon featuring…
Khaos By Design
Smug Town Mushrooms
Thievin Stephen
Rachel Dow
The Vineyard
Leather by Ava
Wild Thistle Herb

A Delicious meal will be served and prepared by Rochester Food Not Bombs!!

With music starting at 3!
Girl Cock
( in your face acoustic not to be missed!)
(ex city harvest black ambient noise)
(will make you cry like cutting a whole bag of onions in one sitting)
American Terrorist
(so raw your crust will fall off)
(post punk earth warriors from the Mid Hudson Valley)
Rotten UK
(You know the drill Back to War!)

I want to take a moment and recongnize the victory at Standing Rock this week! However we still have a long way to go. History shows there is no accountability held within our goverment and the damage has been done. We have an uncertain future and commrades whom been harmed need redemption!

Stay updated at

Earth First! is a globalized group that does just that for our mother earth! We are holding the Organizers Conference/ Winter Rondevous in the Mid Hudson Valley Febuary 14-21st. We need to raise some dough to house and feed all you radical earth warriors! to find out what we are all about check out

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