For over a month, Canada has been rocked by a “Freedom Convoy” of demonstrators and vehicle blockades that ultimately converged on the capital city of Ottawa in protest of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions. Having garnered support from conservative media, some members of Canada’s parliament, and prominent online voices like Elon Musk and Jordan Peterson, the convoy quickly became a cultural and political flashpoint that revealed both how the far right is mobilizing and how the left needs to respond. In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc speaks with Canadian journalists Emily Leedham and Dru Oja Jay about their experience covering the convoy, the mix of organic and astroturfed grievances that were on display, and what the demonstrations say about the terrain of right-wing politics in Canada today.

Emily Leedham is the Prairies Reporter for PressProgress, an award-winning nonprofit news organization in Canada that focuses on holding the rich and powerful accountable, exposing unfair and unhealthy working conditions, and shining a light on hate and bigotry. She has been reporting on the “Freedom Convoy” for PressProgress and Jacobin. Dru Oja Jay is the publisher of The Breach, an independent Canadian media outlet producing critical journalism mapping a just, viable future. He was also the publisher of The Dominion paper and a co-founder of the Media Co-op. Along with Nikolas Barry-Shaw, he is the co-author of the book Paved with Good Intentions: Canada’s Development NGOs from Idealism to Imperialism.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank


Marc Steiner:     Welcome to The Marc Steiner Show here on The Real News. I’m Marc Steiner, and it’s great to have you all with us. We’re all witnessing this so-called freedom convoy in Canada right now. It’s been surrounding their nation’s capital, blocking borders, leaving other truckers and people stranded. And while COVID restrictions seem to be what is motivating all this and these activists, the reality of what’s going on seems to be much deeper than that, much more complex, and much more dangerous. The explosion that has paralyzed Canada is not one of angry workers and unionized Teamsters it seems, but a dangerous growing coalition of the far right, big business, and conservative leaders, which is emblematic of what’s happening across the globe.

And today we’re going to try to unravel what’s really going on, what it portends, and what we must understand for the future as we talk with two activist journalists from sister organizations in Canada. Emily Leedham is the prairies reporter for PressProgress – Say that fast three times – An award winning non-profit news organization in Canada that focuses on holding the rich and the powerful accountable, exposing unfair and unhealthy working conditions, and shining a light on hate and bigotry. And Emily’s reporting has a special focus on workers in communities, big money, and corporate influence, and systemic racism. Emily, welcome. Good to have you with us.

Emily Leedham:     Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.

Marc Steiner:          Good to have you here. And Dru Oja Jay, he is publisher of The Breach, an independent Canadian media outlet that produces critical journalism mapping out a justifiable future, and really taking on voices that you don’t often hear in established media and looking at all kinds of analysis and video content that focuses on racism and inequality, colonialism, climate breakdown. Dru was also the publisher of The Dominion paper and a co-founder of The Media Co-op, and along with Nikolas Barry-Shaw co-authored the book Paved With Good Intentions: Canada’s Development NGOs from Idealism to Imperialism. And Dru, welcome. Good to have you with us.

Dru Jay:                    Thanks Marc. Happy to be here.

Marc Steiner:             Let’s just begin. There’s so much the two of you have published and written about in all this. And I’d like to start with you, Emily, and then Dru just jump in. Because you really have kind of, in many ways, been focusing on the complexity of what’s happening inside this trucker’s movement from the GoFundMe campaign, the millions of dollars that’s been raised to the hundreds of thousands of people that are joining this. Give us your perspective on what’s really happening, and then Dru please jump in.

Emily Leedham:    Yeah, definitely. Well, our whole team at PressProgress has been following this very closely and we’ve been following it actually for a couple years because it turns out a lot of the main organizers, people involved in this convoy, they’re not really new to us here in Canada. And the concept of a trucking convoy is not exactly new either, unfortunately. About two years ago in 2019, there was another convoy called United We Roll and it was organized across Canada. They got truckers to go across Canada and they were protesting the federal carbon tax and the UN migration compact and a whole bunch of other things, basically.

And it was a network of far right actors, small business owners, people with links to far right extremist groups. And they all showed up for a rally in Ottawa. And so we’ve seen this all before, and this is an evolved version of that involving a lot of the same organizers. So that’s what we’ve been following. The only difference now is, of course, there’s been a global pandemic and they’ve harnessed this frustration and been able to galvanize it and, I think, grow their movement quite a bit.

Marc Steiner:         I do want to explore that in some depth. Dru, why don’t you jump in on some of the stuff you’ve been covering around this?

Dru Jay:                     Yeah, but I think the sort of focus that we’ve taken… There are a lot of outlets, and obviously PressProgress and others have really been delving into the details of the convoy and how they were organized. And I guess I would just add that it seems to me that there’s sort of like a… There’s an extreme right element that’s sort of been throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks, basically.

Emily talked about the United We Roll moment. They went against the carbon tax. They tried to create a sort of populous moment around that, they went against Trudeau in general. Now, vaccine mandates are the thing that they’re trying to get some traction with. And so they’re definitely just casting about for things that they can use to bring more people in and, I think, recruit more people into the right-wing sphere and what we focused on is how to address that basically, is how to organize against that.

And I think what we’re seeing is that we have a nominal left party in Canada, the New Democratic Party, which has some reticence about, basically, being activist in any way. I think they’re constantly struggling to try to… They’re a party made up of activists in a lot of ways, but they’re trying to find ways to appear legitimate. And I think as a result, you get the…

And they sit at the sort of left end of the political spectrum. And so you get this whole political spectrum that’s reticent to do the thing which I think you need to do to divide and call the question on these right-wing elements which are constantly trying to create these populous moments, which is to advance popular transformative demands that actually get people excited.

And that actually addresses where people are at in terms of their lived reality. And I think that the protests are nominally about vaccine mandates, but I think that what’s clear is that what has led to people feeling so passionate is not necessarily that specific thing, but really just a feeling that they’re being ignored, that their needs are not really being addressed. And that’s going to come out in all kinds of incoherent ways.

Clearly they’re trying to channel that into vaccine mandates specifically because that’s the sort of battle lines that the Liberals have chosen because that’s attacking people who are not vaccinated – And I’m a 100% pro-vaccine – But attacking people who are not vaccinated, it’s been an easy way out, I think, to keep going with a corporate agenda and then also find a way to blame all the issues that people are having on someone else. And I think, increasingly, people aren’t having it. And so the right has really seized the moment in terms of harnessing that energy and that discontent. But I think what the left needs to do is to say, it’s not just vaccine mandates, it’s lack of access to personal protective gear. It’s a lack of paid sick days.

Marc Steiner:        Right.

Dru Jay:                     It’s a low minimum wage. It’s all these other things that are actually making your life miserable.

Marc Steiner:          Let me [inaudible] some of the things that come out of the pieces you’ve been writing, and I’ve been kind of focused on in your writing and other… How people have covered this. I think two things really focus on for a moment and let me go back to Emily. One of the things I think really is important for people to understand is that this movement, this truckers convoy and its allies here in the United States as well, are not the Teamsters. They’re not the union. These are the owner-operators. This is a whole different… And people don’t understand this split inside the trucking world. And Emily, why don’t you just jump in on that for a moment? I just think that’s really important to kind of parse out.

Emily Leedham:       Yeah, definitely. We’ve seen the narrative be put forward that this is a working class movement, and that’s not necessarily even something that’s shouted from the main organizers. But you have people like Jordan Peterson, right-wing commentators in the States, because right-wing media in Canada and the States, they have formed connections over the past several years so they’ve been able to amplify this narrative and they’re saying, oh, this is a working class movement. Isn’t this what you want, workers to rise up?

And the main organizers, like I said, two years ago, when they were participating in the United We Roll convoy, they actually showed up to a secondary picket line of striking oil workers and were wanting to dismantle the picket line. And one of them even threatened to run over picketers in a Facebook group before the protest where they were going to harass the workers. They’re very anti-union and they’re very pro-business.

And it’s very fascinating that they’re purporting to be concerned about truckers as well, when there’s actually a whole kind of other movement of truckers in Canada, of racialized truckers, immigrant truckers, because they make up about one third of truckers in Canada. And in the major cities they make up to about one half of the truckers. And they’ve been organizing against things like predatory immigration schemes, wage theft, different kinds of real labor issues like that.

But this convoy movement has nothing to say about any of those systemic issues that are really affecting the trucking industry. And that’s because a lot of the organizers of course have links to these far right movements, these anti-immigrant movements, and they’re fundamentally anti-labor. They’re not actually going to be sidling up with unions or with grassroots immigrant truckers forming organizations to fight against wage theft, things like that. I think that’s really important to know to counter the narrative that this is a working-class movement.

Marc Steiner:          Let’s explore for a minute. I mean, I want to come back to this point because I think it’s really important to explain this both in terms of race and class and what’s happening in Canada, which doesn’t get a lot of play, at least for around the globe it doesn’t get a lot of play. But I want to first slide into this question, and what is actually happening, and who is this really strange, weird coalition that… Weird in the sense that it’s coming from many different directions. From what I’ve been observing in Canada, it seems to be some conservative political leaders, the oil and gas industry, parts of a right-wing movement. People are saying, oh, the right-wing movement is really small in Canada. It’s not really that big a thing. It’s not a big deal.

But it’s the tentacles that seem to be reaching out inside and entwining themselves in this weird, for want of a better term, kind of dialectical dance between them that are creating this movement. And that to me is a little bit more ominous, Dru, than just simply a group of owner-operator truckers coming in and saying no to COVID testing, don’t tell me what I can’t do. Something larger is going on here.

Dru Jay:                 Yeah. I think it’s really important to emphasize that at the core, at the leadership level of this movement or whatever you want to call it, are not truckers, that these are longtime right-wing activists. And again, as I said, these are people who’ve been sort of throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks, and they found something that stuck. I think United We Roll got a huge amount of media attention, but it really amounted to very little. Obviously it was… I think everyone… A lot of people on the left understood that it was very dangerous, but dangerous in its potential, not in its actual mobilization. But when you get up to the level of where things are at now, if you look at poll numbers, there are millions of people…

If we take polls at their face value, there are millions of people in Canada who are sympathetic to what’s going on. And so there’s a real potential here for this, what is a very relatively small right-wing movement – By small, we mean there are definitely hundreds of thousands of people who watch extreme right YouTube shows and stuff like that. It’s not tiny by any stretch. But in terms of the activist space and so on it’s a pretty small number of people who actually come out normally.

But I think they’re looking to really level up in terms of expanding their reach, expanding their base, basically. And even if only one in a hundred people who sympathize with the movement, get a little bit closer to those outlets, those news outlets, those email lists, those Facebook groups, whatever, that sphere of corporate interest aligned, conspiracy theorizing, and basically anti-populist, or anti-popular agitating, anti-people agitating. It is right-wing populist but ultimately the agenda is really bad for working people. But I think even if one in a hundred people who are exposed to this and feel sympathetic to it get a little closer, that’s a huge gain for those movements.

Marc Steiner:         Emily, pick up on that piece as well. I’m also curious because you use in your pieces, you’ve been writing a lot about the racialized aspects of this movement and the danger in that. And as you respond to that, I’m very curious whether that fits into the larger union movement as well, among the Teamsters. But have at it.

Emily Leedham:       Yeah, definitely. Well, one thing I want to build on the last comment…

Marc Steiner:          Sure. Sure, go ahead. [crosstalk]

Emily Leedham:          …Is noting the connections between the oil and gas movement and United We Roll in that noting United We Roll was a specifically pro-industry movement. They wanted to build pipelines. They wanted the oil companies to be able to proceed, to build whatever they wanted. The carbon tax was basically a regulation more or less, right? They’re just like we don’t want the government telling us what to do or how to run our business. Which is why the incident where they were harassing the workers on the picket line is so important for me to note, because those workers were oil refinery workers, but they were unionized.

And the entire time United We Roll kept saying, this is about oil and gas jobs. This is about working class jobs for Albertans, Saskatchewans, everyday workers. But the moment that those workers are unionized, they actually pose a problem to industry because they were shutting down a refinery, because they were like, please don’t take our pensions away. That moment really was a moment that highlighted that they actually are not for oil and gas workers. They’re pro industry more or less. And I think you can see that same thread throughout this in that they’re fundamentally anti-COVID restrictions policies, anything that impedes the way that a business functions.

And we know that the business lobby has been the primary force in lobbying politicians to remove COVID restrictions, to be lenient, to be able to get more government support and less government restrictions. Basically this entire thing has been like, please stop regulating business and please stop telling us what to do and how to treat our workers. We will do what we want because we need to make a profit, and we’re tired of COVID impeding our ability to make a profit. I think that’s really important to note there and… Just going to take a breath because I’ve been talking for a bit. [crosstalk]

Marc Steiner:            That’s fine. [inaudible].

Emily Leedham:           We can edit? Yeah. Okay, cool.

Marc Steiner:          Yeah, we can edit. We’re taping. We’re good.

Emily Leedham:          That really folds into the labor piece as well in that they’re not working with unions, they’re not working with grassroots truckers, because they’re fundamentally fighting for different things. Workers are fighting for more protections on the job. Can you please give us PPE? Can you please give us sick days? And employers are like, actually that is a real hassle to me and it costs a lot of money so maybe let’s not do that.

Marc Steiner:          Come to work sick, we don’t care. Right? Yeah.

Emily Leedham:      Yeah, fundamentally it’s about workplace safety regulations. That’s what a lot of the COVID restrictions or whatever are, and they’re minimal as they are, but they’re still too much for small business owners or large corporations, even. And the racialized aspect of this movement is really interesting. Two years ago, it formed opposing the UN migration compact. It was very anti-immigrant, lots of the stereotypical like, oh, immigrants are driving down wages and stealing our jobs kind of thing. And now you kind of see those same threads but they’re downplaying them quite a bit. But you’re still not seeing them drawing attention to the issues that racialized truckers are facing or really welcoming them into their movement because they’re fundamentally not aligned with their goals.

Marc Steiner:          A couple of things here I think it’s important to talk through before we end our conversation, and one has to do with what’s actually happening on the ground at this moment. Maybe people are curious watching this stuff. There’s been these reports about the police not taking action, and maybe you can explain for everybody out here what it means the Canadian government can’t tell the police to take action, which I’ve read in a couple of places, New York Times and other places. What does that mean? And what is that dynamic? What are we missing here? Dru?

Dru Jay:                    Yeah, it’s complicated. It’s a bit… There are some things that are mysterious about it and there are some things that are pretty obvious. One thing that’s pretty obvious is that within the police there is a pretty strong, relatively organized extreme right affinity. Once you have a few of those people in the locker room, you’re going to create an overall sort of tendency to want to stay away from any kind of confrontation with these right-wing protestors, basically.

On the ground, you see a ton of super friendly interactions, and these are nominally the same police, or the same kinds of police forces that were violently dismantling homeless camps just recently. People who have nowhere to go were camping out in parks and stuff and they were getting in there with batons and just beating people up and tearing down their houses, basically. And they’re the same police forces that were dismantling and coming in with military grade weapons to break up Indigenous land occupations where they’re basically saying… And these things are backed up by – This is sort of a tangent – But they’re sort of backed up by the Supreme Court. This isn’t fringe stuff. This is [crosstalk]

Marc Steiner:       Who’s backed up in the Supreme Court?

Dru Jay:                   …[crosstalk] occupations that are totally legitimate.

Marc Steiner:         The police? [crosstalk]

Dru Jay:                And they’re bringing in basically paramilitary forces to break them up. And so you see a pretty big contrast. And I think that there are a few different things going on. There’s definitely pressure from below from the police to… That it would be an unpopular move to move in for the police chiefs. So they’re feeling that. And then I think that politicians just kind of want it to go away. They don’t want to make it even bigger by cracking down on it. And so they’ve just sort of tried to pass the buck, which I think has led to the protests becoming emboldened. They’ve become more aggressive. There’ve been more threats to people.

One of the things that surrounds what happens in a place like Ottawa is that, yeah, you have this very festive Canada Day patriotic atmosphere where everyone’s flying Canadian flags and partying. But then around that, that creates the sort of legitimacy for people to venture out and, I don’t know, threaten people on the street and harass people and create a very dangerous feeling environment that’s very hostile for the people who are actually living in the areas where they’re operating, especially in Ottawa.

And then on the other hand you had institutions from most trade unions to our nominally left-wing parties like the NDP to the Liberal Party, which is the governing party. And obviously the Conservatives are just excited about this to a large extent. Nobody’s responding in any… And from institutions to political parties, nobody has a powerful response. And so what you finally had in Ottawa is you had a few people through a dog walking group and then a few labor organizers spontaneously got together and blockaded one of their supply runs.

And then it got out on social media. And because there’s so much anger built up at the occupation and the constant sort of threats and low-level violence that the convoy represents, there was so much anger among the population. Thousands of people came up, around 4,000 people, came and blockaded this little supply run. And they wouldn’t let the truckers go until they basically took down all their flags and gave up all the fuel that they were bringing into the camp.

The response really has had to come from the grassroots. And now, of course, you see the federal government is now finally taking some action, but they’re doing it in the most heavy-handed, really bad precedent setting way where they’re basically invoking all this authoritarian control in response to what is a protest that got way out of control. And they’re going to start cracking down and mandating provincial and municipal police to basically disassemble these camps. And basically changing laws to create fines and so on. I don’t know how that’s going to play out, but what that does is it creates horrible precedents where… The Emergencies Act goes up to a suspension of civil liberties, basically.

Marc Steiner:        Right.

Dru Jay:                 And so invoking that in this context means that it’ll be easier to invoke in other contexts. And I think a lot of people are very opposed to that approach as well, but really the only productive approach that we’ve seen has come from these big, mass, nonviolent demonstrations that have confronted the convoy.

Marc Steiner:          Emily, let me just… I’m curious what you think and what your analysis is about this since you’ve been covering these worker’s issues and race and racism inside of Canada with some depth. What do you think all this portends? Where does this take the Canadian political scene? Because at first people were trying to say this was just a minority, a very small group of people. But clearly it seems like it may not be a majority of Canadians, but it’s a huge number of people and it’s a really tangled web of different movements. Where do you think this goes?

Emily Leedham:        From observing over the past couple years how the pandemic has really ripped apart a lot of people’s idea of what the Canadian government is and what it does and how it supports people and how it doesn’t support people, I think a lot of people are recognizing their idea of society is not true, there’s something wrong with it. And right now there’s a lot of right-wing groups, a lot of conspiracy groups that will tell you stories about what’s wrong with it.

And so I think that it’s really up to the left to be able to offer those counter-narratives, but to be able to speak to people’s specific material needs, I think that’s where labor unions come in in being able to talk about how unjust a lot of this has been and provide people pathways for action. I think there’s a lot of powerlessness that people feel. I think that people need to have a feeling of agency, and that has to come from outside of the voting cycle. It needs to come from being able to be engaged in worker’s issues in the labor movement, because otherwise they’re going to find other pathways. And that’s a really challenging… That’s easy to say. It’s very challenging to actually do, but that’s the only thing that I can think of.

One thing that I will also note is that a lot of unions have faced, within their own membership, workers who are union members who are challenging vaccine mandates in their workplace. And they’ve been organizing within their unions against vaccine mandates and against things like this because they’re either conservative or they’ve been kind of more radicalized. You have that happening within the unions. And I think the unions have really struggled in how to respond to that, because there’s a lot of legal issues as well and a lot of it has gone through the courts, so I think that has really been a major hurdle for unions in figuring out how to respond to this. I think there’s a lot of serious questions and a lot of major work and conversations that have to happen. Because we’re seeing what’s happening when we’re not able to connect with people and convince people that our form of action, our channels to action, are either not there or not effective.

Marc Steiner:        Very quickly before we have to conclude our conversation, this has been fascinating for me and for, I think, for our viewers and listeners to get an inside view of what’s actually going on. I’m curious how you both feel, how this ends and what comes next. And Emily, as I said, I’ve been following much of your writing about how the left needs to begin organizing, and I think both your organizations are really trying to put this out here in terms of what has to happen next for Canada. Begin with you, Dru Jay, and then go to Emily Leedham and conclude with just where you think this, how you think this ends, and where do you think it takes your political movements in Canada?

Dru Jay:               I don’t know how it ends, but I would imagine that probably the authorities are just going to get sick of this thing eventually. And basically, I feel like they’ve taken more of an Occupy sort of approach, like when you had Occupy Wall Street. The police stood back and let it happen for a while.

Marc Steiner:      Right.

Dru Jay:                    And then they just cleaned house all at once. I’m not sure if that’s exactly the model, but I think it will end one way or another. But I think that the long-term implication of it is that the right has… There’s a huge win for the right, in terms of expanding their reach, expanding the sort of relationship that they have with a lot of people, harnessing that disaffection into what is effectively a lot of anti-immigrant sentiment, a lot of racism, a lot of super pro-corporate agenda, and in an extremely reactionary, angry, anger-fueled way, which is just going to be very dangerous. You’re going to see a lot more of what Emily was describing before, just threats to run over people at picket lines and stuff like that. That is going to be… There’s not going to be less of that. There’s going to be more of it as a result of this. And so I think that that’s what we have to reckon with.

I think there is a role for literally almost everyone to play in trying to find your front line basically and create the motivation and energy within the existing institutions – And maybe new institutions – That can start to put forward an agenda on a bigger scale that actually counters this and creates a different narrative. Because right now all we have is, okay, we can have the status quo with some minor tweaks and that’s progress – And that’ll be familiar to any Democratic voter in the US hearing that spiel – Or we can have radical changes to the system, but driven by the right wing, driven by the corporate agenda.

And I think we have to start to create, expand the block of people who are saying, no, we don’t want either of those things. We don’t want this massive upward distribution of wealth from the majority to a tiny minority. We want to redistribute wealth. We want to redistribute power to create a social fabric that includes migrant communities. We want to create a big transformative progressive agenda that actually leads to a better life in a tangible way for as many people as possible. And I think that that’s the only way you’re going to ultimately counter all this sort of channeling of frustration and the feeling of helplessness.

Marc Steiner:            Emily, why don’t you conclude for us? And also, we didn’t get into it as deep as I wanted to in this conversation. We’d like to continue this with… Because of your writings around race and racism in Canada, now this plays into it as well, but please conclude for us.

Emily Leedham:      Well, we’ll see how this plays out, definitely. I feel like there’s a lot of tension in Ottawa right now, just watching live feeds of protestors feeling concerned that the hammer’s finally going to come down. But we saw that… We had massive Black Lives Matter protests protesting police brutality, the role of the police. We’ve had defund police movements happen. And now we have this giant occupation sort of like, what is the role of the police? Why are they not treating this protest like they are treating other protests where they’re so quick to crack down on? I think there’s a conversation that needs to happen and that will happen about the role of the police after seeing all this play out, knowing that there’s a lot of former RCMP and former military and former cops actually involved in the convoy in various ways.

I think that’s a conversation that will happen. I think, especially within unions, I think there’ll be conversations about how to engage with members and how to build up rank-and-file union strength. I think that’s just something that needs to happen. And I think we also need to talk about small business owners, because there’s a lot of conflation going on where people, I think, conflate small business owners with the working class. And I know that’s an ongoing conversation. But the truth [crosstalk] is that there are a lot of small business owners involved in this convoy and funding this convoy, and they kind of want to frame themselves as being, oh, the little guy. We’re a small business, we’re not a big corporation. But really they’re fighting for the same pro business kind of things that the large corporations are.

And so I think we really need to have a conversation on the left about the role of small business and their power in shaping policy, because we’ve seen the convoy, whether or not they get cracked down, they’ve already influenced policy in multiple provinces. We’ve seen premiers very quickly fold and say, oh, you know what? We thought about it. And we’re actually going to lift all of the restrictions within the next month. And a lot of journalists have been like, oh, that’s really convenient timing. I think that… Yeah, we definitely need to have conversations about the role of small business and the valorization of the small business owner in Canada.

Marc Steiner:         Well, this has been a fascinating conversation. I really do look forward to many more with you all in exploring what’s happening in Canada, which is a huge audience, not just for us, but also an important subject for us all to wrestle with wherever we are. And I want to thank you, Emily Leedham, for your work and for joining us today, and also Dru Oja Jay for joining us today. And we will be linking to both PressProgress and, of course, The Breach so you all can see the work and we’ll continue these conversations. Thank you both so much for all you’re doing. Thanks for joining us today on The Marc Steiner Show at The Real News.

Dru Jay:                  Thank you, Marc.

Emily Leedham:         Thank you so much for having us.

Marc Steiner:           And thank you all for joining us today. It’s great to have you all with us. And you can find links to the work by Emily Leedham, who is the prairies reporter for PressProgress, and Dru Jay from The Breach where he’s the publisher. The link’s here at The Real News. And it’s been great to have them both on, and please let me know what you thought about today’s program. I want to hear what you’d like us to cover and what you think. And just write to me at and I will write you right back. And a really important reminder that Bill Fletcher Jr. and I will be producing a series on the rise of the right and what we can do to stop it. Look for that coming up in the middle of March, around March 15. And so for Dwayne Gladden, Stephen Frank, and the crew here at The Real News, I’m Marc Steiner. Stay involved, keep listening, and take care.

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Host, The Marc Steiner Show
Marc Steiner is the host of "The Marc Steiner Show" on TRNN. He is a Peabody Award-winning journalist who has spent his life working on social justice issues. He walked his first picket line at age 13, and at age 16 became the youngest person in Maryland arrested at a civil rights protest during the Freedom Rides through Cambridge. As part of the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968, Marc helped organize poor white communities with the Young Patriots, the white Appalachian counterpart to the Black Panthers. Early in his career he counseled at-risk youth in therapeutic settings and founded a theater program in the Maryland State prison system. He also taught theater for 10 years at the Baltimore School for the Arts. From 1993-2018 Marc's signature “Marc Steiner Show” aired on Baltimore’s public radio airwaves, both WYPR—which Marc co-founded—and Morgan State University’s WEAA.