Occupy Wall Street Offshoot Moves To Buy Up And Forgive Debt
Since its conception, Occupy Wall Street has often been criticized for not having tangible goals to organize around. However, the same can't be said for the movement's Rolling Jubilee—a wide-reaching movement to buy up and forgive the debt of average Americans who are struggling to make their payments.
Strike Debt is composed of a coalition of Occupy groups “looking to build popular resistance to all forms of debt imposed on us by the banks.”
Organizers of the movement say they intend to “buy debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, we abolish it. We cannot buy specific individuals' debt—instead, we help liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.”
They have already tested out their debt-buying experiment, and according to Strike Debt founder David Rees, it was a success:
"As a test run, we spent $500, which bought $14,000 of distressed debt. We then erased that debt. If you’re a debt broker, once you own someone’s debt you can do whatever you want with it—traditionally, you hound debtors to their grave trying to collect. We’re playing a different game. A MORE AWESOME GAME."
The plan kicked off Nov. 15 with a launch party and telethon in New York City; the movement has already raised more than $170,000 to abolish nearly $3.5 million of debt.
Sydney Hofferth is a Communications Intern for Campus Progress. You can follow her on twitter at @squidhoff10.
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