Sister Cities: Rochester Riots vs. Paris Suburban Riots
In Chris Christopher’s documentary on the July 1964 Rochester, New York riots, many of the same issues were brought up that exploded into the news arena last November in Paris suburbs.
In 1964, Rochester had low unemployment, but it was virtually impossible for African Americans to get jobs in large corporations such as Eastman Kodak (unless it was janitorial work).
In Paris suburbs, two kids pursued by police, had fatal accidents when they climbed over live electric wiring. In Rochester, during a street party, a child was allegedly wounded by police dogs.
The use of police dogs to quell a street party that had gotten out of hand was literally the final straw.
The attitude described in Chris Christopher’s documentary was an attitude of seething rage, frustration at a system that refused to open any doors.
As one commentator explained – – when a riot lasts for more than two days, it’s no longer a riot – it’s a revolution.
The issues of the day were: JOBS, EDUCATION and HOUSING.
At the end of the day, the issues are still the same – in Rochester, and in Paris.