Renegade Paradise

The Official Podcast of Charleston DSA

Renegade Paradise, the official podcast of Charleston DSA, is a news, commentary and educational forum based on socialist analysis from activists here on the ground in the Lowcountry. New episodes are uploaded regularly and can be found on all the major platforms.

“Working to build a society and economy run by the working class.”


Recent Episodes
Episode Descriptions

Episode 25 – Charleston Rebellion 2020: Abolishing The Carceral State

In this episode, we’re featuring local activists Candace Livingston, Julie Chea and Empress talking about police/prison abolition and building a better world using the principles of investing in our communities, as well as fully understanding the power of transformative justice. Through Carolina Youth Action Project, they’ve been working on a campaign called Safer Schools Without SROs, which demands the removal of all SROs in Charleston County schools and in every public school across South Carolina.

Episode 24 – Songs Of Liberation: Give Me That Textile Workers Union

In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, textile workers across the country engaged in a series of industrial actions that changed the landscape and fortunes of organized labor in the US forever.  This episode tells the story of two strikes of this period that occurred in the Upstate of South Carolina.  In Honea Path and Pelzer, workers fought against local mill owners and anti-union forces for better conditions, and several of them paid with their lives. A part of labor struggles throughout history has always been the music, a joyful and artistic silver lining that sometimes gets overlooked. As part of our Songs Of Liberation series, we’ll also talk about many of the artists and songs associated with labor organizing in both South Carolina and the South in general.

Episode 23 – Charleston Rebellion 2020: Unionizing Our Workplaces

In this episode, we continue our discussion on the Charleston Rebellion and potential next steps within the context of building a unified, multiracial working class, and understanding how predatory capitalists and the police work to exploit weaknesses in that unified front. We also discuss how police unions exist to protect cops, the recent work stoppage by longshoremen and warehouse worker unions across the country and how issues of racial and economic justice are intertwined, and how socialists must be able to make those connections and advocate for both of them simultaneously.

Episode 22 – Charleston Rebellion 2020: The Aftermath of May 30

A number of Charleston DSA members have been involved with protests over the past few weeks in various capacities. In this episode, we talk with a couple of new members who were on the ground during some of the protests over the past few weeks. They share their reasons behind joining the local DSA chapter, their stories about what the mood was like marching down King Street, how the Charleston Rebellion is similar to and different from other actions happening around the country, and try to imagine what might happen next as the struggle continues.

Episode 21 – Charleston Rebellion 2020: All About Protest Marshaling

In the wake of the recent protests across the Holy City this week, we talk about the historic link between modern police departments and slave patrols of the 1700s and 1800s, how police departments disproportionately attack and murder people of color, how to increase the effectiveness of street protests using good marshaling tactics, what exactly a protest marshal does, and how to keep yourself and your comrades safe.

Episode 20 – Abolish Landlords: Tenant Organizing In the COVID-19 Era

Artist and activist Effy Francis and local DSA comrade Chris Tittle talk about organizing for tenants’ rights in South Carolina during the COVID-19 pandemic. Effy also discusses their past experiences working for disability rights groups, the LGBTQIA+ community, and how those experiences influenced their work today. The episode continues with a wrap-up of the recent virtual townhall collaboration between the South Carolina Housing Justice Network, Charleston DSA, and other Lowcountry social justice organizations. And finally, are you in a position to pledge some or all of your stimulus check to support immigrant rights, housing justice, and community resilience with your neighbors in the Lowcountry? Please consider making a donation to the Lowcountry Mutual Aid Fund:

Episode 19 – Songs of Liberation: Red Reggae

In the 1970s, Jamaica under the People’s National Party (PNP) and Prime Minister Michael Manley engaged in a bold campaign guided by the ideas of Democratic Socialism. This episode offers a brief history of this decade and pairs it with contemporary reggae tunes with socialist themes.

Episode 18 – Mutual Aid In the Wake of COVID-19

As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues, we discuss the importance of building and participating in mutual aid organizations with a comrade from Mutual Aid Disaster relief. Conversation topics include participating in hurricane relief efforts in Lumberton with Charleston DSA after Hurricane Florence hit in 2018, how climate disaster relief compares to the COVID-19 pandemic, how diverse populations are impacted differently by natural and manmade disasters, and why it is critical for the Left to get involved with mutual aid projects as part of our broader mission.

Episode 17 – The COVID-19 Stimulus Package

In this episode, we talk further about the local response to COVID-19, then zoom out a bit and compare it to how other countries with stronger worker protections have reacted. Later, we break down the recent stimulus package and how it fails to address the contradictions of capitalism that have brought us to this point.

Episode 16 – A Socialist Pepsective on the COVID-19 Pandemic

In this episode, we interview a couple of comrades (one locally and one from the Akron DSA chapter) who work in the healthcare industry to talk about what it’s like being on the ground in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how this pandemic affects the lives of working people. We also broaden the discussion a bit to talk about how COVID-19 is exposing the contradictions of capitalism and the drastic measures needed to protect the working class at this time of crisis.

Episode 15 – 2020 Primary Fever Wrap-Up

We’ve got another engaging panel discussion for you as members of Charleston DSA, Food Not Bombs, and a local Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer chat about the South Carolina primary election, Super Tuesday, and beyond. What was it like to be on the front lines of the campaign? What can be learned from our organizing successes and failures? How to we move that energy beyond the 2020 election? All this and more!

Episode 14 – Primary Fever Comes to South Carolina

In this episode, a few members of the local Charleston DSA and Food Not Bombs chapters have a discussion about the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign. Seen as the underdog by many talking heads, Sanders has earned victories in Iowa, New Hampshire and now seems poised to win South Carolina. The panel also discusses what got them interested in Bernie Sanders, the advantages and limitations of engaging in electoral politics, and what’s on the line for voters in the Palmetto State.

Episode 13 – Solidaridad y Dignidad Para Chile

Our comrade and YDSA liaison Ace stops by the studio to talk about her experiences in Chile during the mass protests against President Sebastián Piñera and his increasingly unpopular administration. The protests began in Chile’s capital, Santiago, as a coordinated fare evasion campaign by students which led to spontaneous takeovers of the city’s main train stations, resulting in violent, punitive actions by the national police.

Episode 12 – Medicare For All: Critical For An Empowered Working Class

In conjunction with our 2020 Medicare for All action week, we’re talking about the nitty gritty details of Medicare for All. We go over most of the usual questions (who supports it, how it compares to a private, multipayer system, how it’ll be paid for, etc…) but we also talk a little bit about the intersectional nature of fighting for a universal, single payer healthcare system, and how it will help folks here in the Lowcountry.

Episode 11 – Max Elbaum’s Talk at the ILA Local 422 Hall

Recently, writer and activist Max Elbaum was in Charleston to discuss his book, Revolution In The Air. The book chronicles the rise of the New Communist Movement in the United States in the 60s and 70s, and it’s subsequent decline in the 80s. It also examines what organizations like DSA can learn from the legacies of Vladimir Lenin, Mao Tse Tung and Che Guevara, and from the various tendencies and organizations of the New Communist Movement operating at the time.

Episode 10 – Interview With Writer & Activist Max Elbaum, Author of “Revolution In The Air”

Recently, writer and activist Max Elbaum was in Charleston to discuss his book, Revolution In The Air. The book chronicles the rise of the New Communist Movement in the United States in the 60s and 70s, and it’s subsequent decline in the 80s. In this episode, we ask Max some questions about the book, and get his take on applying lessons learned from the activists that came before us in an age of rising inequality, fascism, and looming environmental destruction on the horizon.

Episode 9 – ICE & Border Imperialism

This episode provides additional analysis on ICE at the organizational level, discussing what role they play in US imperialism and white supremacy here at home. We also spend some time taking a broad view of border imperialism, and how it restricts and marginalizes people while capital is free to cross borders with relative ease.

Episode 8 – Our First Mini-Episode AKA “A Little Slice Of Paradise”

Not long ago, the Coastal Conservation League hosted a forum with several mayoral candidates here in Charleston. The candidates discussed the massive problem this city has with flooding, and proposed some technocratic, mediocre solutions for moving forward. We were able to score an interview with a real bonafide, flesh-and-blood candidate, Ricky Teckwhite, who is definitely not someone we just made up for laughs. We also propose some very brief solutions of our own that we’ll come back to in future episodes.

Episode 7 – Interview With Fernando Soto From Recursos Estatales

In this episode, we interview Fernando Soto, founder of Recursos Estatales, an online news portal for Spanish-speaking readers. Recursos Estatales’ mission is to close the gap in local communities where Spanish resources are not offered to the Hispanic community. Recursos Estatales also provides news coverage in the state of South Carolina. Likewise, it is working on expansion to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, broadening their reach to a regional audience.

Episode 6 – DSA National Convention 2019 Analysis

Delegates from our chapter hit the road for the 2019 National DSA Convention. In this episode, we discuss some of the experiences we had at the convention, a broad view of how the voting process worked, and a deeper dive on a few interesting resolutions and proposed bylaw changes.

Episode 5 – Interview With Charleston Food Not Bombs

In this episode, we interview local comrades Alex and Sam who are stalwart supporters of the local Food Not Bombs chapter. Food Not Bombs is a loose-knit group of independent anarchist collectives around the world who share free meals in an ongoing effort to build solidarity with local folks struggling with food insecurity.

Episode 4 – The Green New Deal vs. Universal Basic Income

In this episode, we compare and contrast the Green New Deal and the so-called “Freedom Dividend,” provide some analysis on how these plans might look on a local level, and present both strategies within the concept of a socialist economy, framing the argument as a battle between the needs of labor vs. the whims of capital.

Episode 3 – Abortion Rights Under Attack

Recently, a series of so-called “fetal heartbeat” bills have been circulating in various state legislatures.In the first segment, we analyze the difference between the various bills in different states, and how they compare and contrast to South Carolina’s own so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill. In the second segment, we provide a socialist analysis of abortion rights and bodily autonomy, and explain how these bills are yet another example of class warfare.

Episode 2 – #AllOutMay1 South Carolina Teacher Walkout & South Carolina Labor Struggles Throughout History

In the spirit of May Day, this episode discusses the recent #AllOutMay1 statewide teacher walkout from a socialist perspective. We also suggest some ways in which comrades might support our teachers and fellow workers, as well as how to encourage a culture of vigorously defending the right to a free, high-quality public education via direct action. We also spend a little time towards the end of the episode talking about labor history here in the region and how it connects to the current struggles within the South Carolina education system, which currently sits among the worst-ranked in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report.

Episode 1 – We Want The World

The debut episode of Renegade Paradise, in which we discuss how capitalism and socialism are talked about in popular political discourse, and why this popular discourse is inaccurate and problematic. We also present a brief summary of Charleston DSA’s interpretation and definition of socialism.