I first met Steve Marquardt through Seattle Indivisible. He’s the one who asks the question nobody else is asking and he calls me on my bullshit when I forget to think about accessibility. He also very kindly lent us his van so we could transport other wheelchair users to the shoot.
Here is Steve in his own words.
Tae: The “We Shall Not Be Moved” video is about bringing people together across the identity-based lines of division that have traditionally been used to pit us against each other. Can you share with us how you identify, what you need from your co-conspirators for social justice, and who you’re committed to standing up for?
Steve: I am an old lefty activist, in it for the long haul. My roots are in labor, and Central American solidarity work, but recently I have been adding disability rights and broader resistance to our emerging fascist nightmare to my activism portfolio. I ask my co-conspirators to recognize experience, and to notice questions of access as they plan actions. I don’t stand up much, but am committed to fight for immigrants, workers, people of color, people with disabilities, and the 99%.
On Social Justice Role Models
Tae: Who are your social justice role models and influencers? Who would you most like to hear “you’ve done well” from?
Steve: The organizers who taught me over the years how to do this work.
Tae: What information do you consider when deciding which initiatives, ballot measures, and candidates to support?
Steve: My own lived experience, deep reading in history, and wide reading in mainstream and alternative media.
On the Bottom Line
Tae: When it comes to the constant onslaught of outrage from this regime, we all have to consider our own personal bottom lines. What would you get arrested for? What would you put your safety on the line for?
Steve: I’ve been arrested before 2016, and certainly expect to do it again, but I can’t predict the particular provocation. Getting arrested is part of a tactical menu: when it makes strategic sense it’s the right thing to do.
Tae: What gives you hope in these troubled times?
Steve: The commitment and relentless hard work of so many of my brothers and sisters in this struggle.
As part of the launch of the “We Shall Not Be Moved” music video, I’m asking members of the cast and crew five questions about identity, voting, social justice, and hope. I’ll be posting these on my blog in the coming weeks.