Occupy lance un préavis de “grève de la dette” Sous le slogan “Vous n’êtes pas un crédit, vous n’êtes pas tout seuls”, (“You are not a loan, you are not alone”), le groupe “Strike Debt” de Occupy Wall Street ambitionne d’insuffler un mouvement de résistance contre le remboursement des dettes. L’opération est en train de susciter un consensus mondial, et est susceptible de relancer le mouvement de protestation né il y a un an. Poster de Strike the Debt – Domaine public Le postulat de départ lancé par Occupy Wall Street, Démocratie Réelle maintenant, le mouvement 15-M et divers organisations affirme dans un communiqué conjoint vouloir un audit citoyen de la dette et annonce [en] : To the financial institutions of the world, we have only one thing to say: we owe you nothing. Avis aux institutions financières du Monde, nous n'avons qu'une seule chose à vous dire : nous ne vous devons rien. Sur internet, on trouve déjà de nombreuses vidéos appellant à brûler ses dettes : Le constat est donc frappant. Rolling Debt Jubilee _ Domaine Public
Occupy Research | Keep Calm and Get Excited About the Rolling Jubilee Occupy has created a Strike Debt wing, which has a new project: a Rolling Jubilee. There will be a livestream of the Debt Jubilee fundraiser tonight, starting at 8pm ET, that you can access from their webpage. It features Janeane Garofalo, Jeff Mangum from Neutral Milk Hotel, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Lizz Winstead, and many more. You should check it out. To give you a sense why I find this new project fascinating, I'll quickly review three random projects I've been working on recently, all of which are related to this new project. The first is on what bankruptcy law professor Ronald Mann refers to as the "sweat box" model of consumer debt and bankruptcy. Another is focused on student debt, particularly about how the collapse of public higher education has been a planned political project. The final one is arguing that one explanation for why our recovery is so slow has to do with a debt overhang. Rolling Jubilee Strike Debt can only purchase so much debt. Critiques
How Rolling Jubilee Works Occupy Wall Street has been out of the headline for a while now, but the group has launched a new plan that could gain them traction again. Rolling Jubilee is a plan to use money pooled from donations to buy distressed consumer debt at marked down prices. Then, instead of collecting it like a debt agency would, the group would forgive the debt. Here's how the group describe it: One of the organizers of the project, David Rees, offers more explanation on his blog: OWS is going to start buying distressed debt (medical bills, student loans, etc.) in order to forgive it. This is a simple, powerful way to help folks in need — to free them from heavy debt loads so they can focus on being productive, happy and healthy. That test run does sound impressive, and the idea of helping people in dire financial straits through unfortunate circumstances (for example, medical bills) is a noble one. Could it work? Here Salmon explains why that plan didn't work:
Grève de la dette : après le jubilé Des militant-e-s d’Occupy Wall Street lancent ces jours-ci un appel à la "grève de la dette" : ils entendent constituer un vaste mouvement d’endetté-e-s qui refusent de continuer à rembourser les banques. L’objectif ? Mettre en évidence la centralité de la dette dans la domination qu’exercent les 1% sur les 99%. David Graeber imagine dans cet article ce que serait une société de l’après dette. Si vous regardez comment les choses se présentent sur le papier, le monde est innondé par la dette. Sans aucun doute, les lecteurs vont objecter « mais justement, si vous imprimez des milliards de dollars, est-ce que ça ne créera pas une vive inflation ? La politique du gouvernement états-unien, sous Bush comme sous Obama (sur ces questions, la différence politique entre les deux est infime) a été d’imprimer de la monnaie et de la distribuer aux banques. Le problème, c’est que ça n’a pas marché. On peut se demander pourquoi. Non, la vraie réponse semble être idéologique.
So what the fuck has occupy done so far? To Forgive Is Divine (Then Comes the Tax Bill) The people who brought you Occupy Wall Street have come up with an extremely clever idea: raising money to buy random citizens’ overdue debt, and then—poof!—forgive it. One day a debtor is fielding calls from a collection agency; the next day, she’s not. If this vanishing act sounds too good to be true—and it might be, but we’ll get to that—it helps to start at the beginning. Debt is easiest to think about as a negative thing: It’s money you owe somebody. From that somebody’s perspective, though, debt is money coming due. When debt becomes overdue, it gets cheaper, and when it becomes really overdue, it sells for pennies on the dollar. David Rees, a humorist best known for his Get Your War On comic and How to Sharpen Pencils book, wrote on his blog that Strike Debt has successfully tested the idea with a $500 purchase of $14,000 in debt, a ratio of 1 to 28. This is all nitpicking, though, compared with the big, inevitable catch: taxes. Strike Debt is still declining interview requests.
Strike Debt and Rolling Jubilee: The Debate Strike Debt and Rolling Jubilee: The Debate Of the organizing strategies emerging from Occupy, few have the momentum of Strike Debt. Organizers believe that debt is what Americans hold in common; debtors must be the class that unites and fights for a fair economy beginning with the elimination of medical, housing, education, and credit card debt. It reflects the widespread attitude that made David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years so popular and the conditions that made the 99 percent Tumblr a catalog of loans and unpaid mortgages. But is debt the most powerful category around which to organize? As we speak, Wal-Mart workers are organizing warehouse strikes and teachers unions in Chicago, Wisconsin, and beyond are engaged in labor struggles to fight back austerity. As post-Occupy activists strategize and build, these questions will be paramount. -Editors Dear Seth, I’m looking forward to the dialogue with you—here’s a start. Andrew Dear Andrew, Seth Seth, Take the Rolling Jubilee. Andrew,
États-Unis : Les « objecteurs de créances » de Strike Debt organisent la résistance Sur les bords de l’East River à Brooklyn, le 9 septembre dernier, des personnes se relaient au centre d’un cercle et prennent la parole pour expliquer comment leurs dettes leur sont devenues insupportables, par les paiements qu’elles supposent chaque mois et, plus fondamentalement, par les choix qu’elles les obligent à faire, ou plutôt l’absence de choix dans laquelle elles les enferment. Certaines disent la honte qu’elles ont ressenties, d’autres leur dégoût, leur incompréhension, le puissant sentiment d’injustice. Puis, dans un geste libérateur, elles mettent le feu à ce courrier leur rappelant le montant qu’elles doivent encore rembourser, ce relevé bancaire faisant état de crédits impayés... Les rouages du « système dette » mis à nu Les membres surmotivé-e-s de Strike Debt saisissent donc toutes les occasions de partager le fruit de leurs recherches et leurs réflexions. Mais la dette est aussi un formidable moyen d’extorsion. Au commencement, la dette des étudiants...
It's the Interest, Stupid! Why Bankers Rule the World Interest charges are a strongly regressive tax that the poor pay to the rich. A public banking system could realize savings up to 40 percent - allowing taxes to be cut, services increased and market stability created - with banks feeding the economy rather than feeding off it. In the 2012 edition of Occupy Money released last week, Professor Margrit Kennedy writes that a stunning 35 percent to 40 percent of everything we buy goes to interest. This interest goes to bankers, financiers, and bondholders, who take a 35 percent to 40 percent cut of our GDP. This hidden tribute to the banks will come as a surprise to most people, who think that if they pay their credit card bills on time and don't take out loans, they aren't paying interest. Tradesmen, suppliers, wholesalers and retailers all along the chain of production rely on credit to pay their bills. Her figures are drawn from the research of economist Helmut Creutz, writing in German and interpreting Bundesbank publications.
Occupy's New Offshoot Set to Cancel Millions in Medical Debts Click here to support news free of corporate influence by donating to Truthout. Help us reach our fundraising goal so we can continue doing this work! (Photo: Steve Rhodes / Flickr)Medical debt is the cause of 62 percent of bankruptcies, say organizers of Strike Debt, which threw last night's offbeat fundraiser for their new “Rolling Jubilee.” Ordinary people donated enough money to collectively buy an estimated $5.9 million in bad debt in order to cancel it. On the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street's eviction from Zuccotti Park, celebrity and local performers donated their time for a "post-modern variety show" last night at Manhattan's Le Poisson Rouge nightclub. The tactic is to buy private debt the same way collection companies do—on the debt market, at tiny fractions of its original worth—and then cancel it in hopes of freeing debtors from their piled-up medical bills. Of the money raised this week, Strike Debt has already spent $5,000 on purchasing medical debt.
Why students must demand 'debt abolition for all' The stark realities of the economic crisis are obvious in every area of student lives. The tripling of tuition fees, cuts to bursaries, and the abolition of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) are leading many thousands of young people into poverty. "The future" offers no way out: for the first time in history, we can expect to be worse-off than our parents. The student experience is linked to a broader attack on living conditions and on the welfare state over the past two years. In one way in particular, current education policies are going to have a profound effect on the rest of our lives: we are being shackled with unpayable debt. Personal debt is a reality that affects huge numbers in the UK. The education system is going to force graduates to start their working lives with as much as £50,000 of debt. Debt acts a driver to make us produce what we need to survive in the future – plus a surplus, with which to pay our debts. How do we reclaim our futures?
Why Occupy's plan to cancel consumer debts is money well spent | Charles Eisenstein A new initiative is re-energising the Occupy movement. Called the Rolling Jubilee, it is a plan to use money from donations to buy distressed consumer debt from lenders at a marked down price, just as debt collection agencies normally would. But instead of hounding debtors for payments, it will simply cancel the debts. The hope is that the liberated debtors will themselves contribute to the fund, "rolling" the jubilee forward. The Rolling Jubilee is a genius move for several reasons. But despite its non-threatening appearance, the Rolling Jubilee has significant transformative potential. For this reason, we might expect lenders to balk at co-operating with the Rolling Jubilee, perhaps by refusing to sell loans to anyone who doesn't agree to seek collection. Accordingly, it is important that the Jubilee organisers continue to frame it in precisely that way: people helping each other out of hardship. This also goes for the way the organisers portray it to themselves.