Welcome to Rebel Steps. The Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire asked, “What can we do today so that we can do tomorrow what we cannot do today?” This podcast is about that question.
In 2017, a lot of us woke up to some harsh realities. Trump in the White House, the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, the repeal of DACA, the rise of ICE deportations, the lack of response to natural disasters. It all adds up to paint a pretty bleak picture.
On the other hand, there’s been a lot of energy for the “resistance” movement. On inauguration day there were blockades at the entrances to the mall in DC as well as a several large marches ranging from festive to militant. The next day millions took part in the women’s march internationally. A few days later, everyone was showing up to the airport to protest the Muslim Ban. Since then, there’s been a constant presence of activism in the public eye. And it’s been truly inspiring.
No ban no registry, fuck white supremacy. No ban no registry, fuck white supremacy. No Trump, No KKK no fascist USA. No Trump, No KKK no fascist USA. (Protest chants)
I’d been involved in political organizations in the past, but I’d taken a break for a few years. My own privilege as a white, straight, cisgendered, person allowed me to be complacent during the Obama administration. Despite tragedies like increased drone strikes and Guantanamo remaining open, Obama offered me the illusion that we were moving forward, that progress was inevitable. Trump shattered that illusion for me.
I called my senators and encouraged others to do the same. I donated to the organizations on the front lines of the fight. I read the books everyone’s been telling me to read. I came back to political work with a lot of energy and a new sense of urgency. I was ready to fight, and I was ready to win. But after a few months of showing up to protests every weekend, I started to burn out. It didn’t feel meaningful, it didn’t feel like anything was changing. In fact, maybe things were even getting worse. And it got me thinking, what comes next?
This podcast is about what comes next. I’m gonna walk through what you can do to start plugging into movements and learning organizing skills step by step. If you’ve already been around political organizations, this podcast might not be for you. But if you’ve been to a march or two and you’re looking to jump in, you’re in the right place. Today, I want to set you up with my intentions for this project.
Let’s talk about action versus education. It’s important to understand how messed up our society is. There are many books and podcasts and documentaries dedicated to this understanding. I encourage you to educate yourself. However, this podcast is mostly dedicated to taking action. I won’t be going in depth on most issues, but I’ll always provide further resources in the show notes for each episode.
Second, I don’t pretend to be an expert. I am going to be drawing from my own personal reflections, and I’m also going to bring in people who have different experiences.
So what’s this podcast about? The Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire asked “What can we do today so that we can do tomorrow what we cannot do today?” This podcast is about that question.
It’s about getting out of your comfort zone to try new things, meet new people, and learn new tactics. It’s about boots on the streets, getting your hands dirty, fighting the good fight, and getting beyond donating and calling your senator. It’s about resisting capitalism, white supremacy, sexism, and heteronormativity in your everyday life.
You’ve been listening to rebel steps, I’m your host Liz. Believe in yourself, trust one another, and get organized.