It’s been a while since the Occupy Movement has been in residence in parks and public spaces, but the work of confronting economic inequality is never done. As an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, Strike Debt is now a global movement helping to confront the debt people get trapped in by college loans, medical costs, housing, and other predatory financial situations.
Reports say that 15% or more of Americans are currently being pursued by a debt collector. Now here’s where it gets interesting…a program called Rolling Jubilee, set up as a non-profit 501(c)4 (organization dedicated to social welfare, but NOT a charity) is liberating folks from debt they cannot get in front of. Interest rates and penalties make loan principal the smallest part of debt load, and people end up owing many times the original amount borrowed. Banks readily “sell” debt to outside collectors who usually try to collect the full amount (often through strongarm and threatening tactics). Now Rolling Jubilee is buying up discounted debt notes, and abolishing them.
It is being referred to as a “Bailout of the people, by the people.” It is a pretty fascinating experiment in resistance to the system of predatory debt practices that guarantee that individuals lose. Root around the website a bit, and explore. So far, they have abolished well over eighteen million dollars of debt, and “debt resistance” is just the beginning of a burgeoning movement of mutual support.