Stephen Maupin, one of Occupy Redding’s founding members, revolutionary socialist, LGBT activist, retired Teamster and political
scholar, has passed away at age 72.
For many decades, Steve was a familiar face in the local progressive community, rolling on his electric scooter to demonstrations throughout Shasta County, a venerable voice speaking out against war, for the environment, and in support of LGBT and women’s rights. A member of Redding Unitarians, Redding Humanists and Free Thought Central, he was a longtime, loyal friend of Women’s Health Specialists and a respected member of the local LGBT community, the NAACP and Occupy Redding.
As a self-taught political scholar and historian, Steve’s knowledge was extensive and profound, but his activism was also informed by direct experience. Before he moved to Redding, he worked in the Bay Area and was a proud member of the Teamsters Union. In 1967, as a young veteran and early anti-war activist, he attended the historic March on the Pentagon.
A staunch anti-imperialist, he championed self-determination for Palestinian, Native American and all oppressed peoples, and spent time in Nicaragua. He was also a participant in the early days of the gay rights movement in the Bay Area.
Always eager to talk politics, his lifeblood, Steve was grounded in the real world, enjoying actions and exchanges with both his comrades and the wider public. At the Occupy base camp, rain or shine, he’d roll up for his daily shifts with high spirits and endless knowledge to share, and took part in actions for a rainbow of progressive causes throughout the community.
Steve loved classical, jazz and folk music. An accomplished cellist and recorder player, he played in ensembles with veteran progressive activist Betty Doty and her late husband, fellow activist and music teacher Do.
But even Steve’s lighter side didn’t stray far from The Cause. He led us in attempting harmonies on classic Wobbly “songs of protest,” and was delighted when everyone joined in on Woody Guthrie’s “Union Maid.”
We who were Steve’s comrades are grateful to have known and learned from him, and are all the richer for his unique commitment and insight.
Rest in peace, revolutionary and firebrand, Brother Steve Maupin. You’ll be deeply missed — and your work will live on. Your passion and wisdom will continue to inspire our own activism.
As the masses chanted in the streets of Venezuela after socialist revolutionary Hugo Chavez died, so do we honor our comrade: “Todos
Laurie O.Connell lives in Redding.