We all have debt. Student debt, mortgage debt, health care debt, credit-card debt, and more: debt is the tie that binds the 99%, and it is a primary engine of Wall Street profits. Are the promises we believed in order to take this debt — of prosperity, of stability, of enfranchisement — even worth the paper our statements are printed on? Debt is ruining the lives of individuals, families, and communities while banks gets bailed out.

We say enough! Join us as we begin to build a people’s movement to strike debt, break the chains of debt, and to create new bonds of solidarity.

Strike Debt is a network of debt resistors, debtors and non-debtors alike, who are sparking conversations about how debt affects us all, how debt is a global system of domination of the 99% by the 1%, and what we can do about it. Through research, direct action, and mutual support, Strike Debt is exploring ways to break the chains of debt and create new bonds of love and solidarity.
It emerged in New York City in the summer of 2012, on the heels of the energy coming from the Montreal student strikes. Strike Debt formed alongside debtors’ assemblies, where people stood up and spoke, in moving terms, about how debt has limited their life options and demolished their aspirations. Their testimony showcased the cruel consequences of a system which forces individuals and families to take on debt to pay for basic social goods like education, housing, and healthcare. Debtors’ testimonies highlight the ways in which household debts, municipal debts and sovereign debts are interdependent, a key theme for Strike Debt. While the media tends to focus on stories of individuals in debt, student loans, mortgage payments, and healthcare costs alongside austerity measures all combine to strangle entire households and communities. Debt is personal for many people, but above all it is deeply structural.

Debt resistance comes in many forms and Strike Debt aims to provide individual debt resistors with specific tactics, resources and frameworks for fighting against the debt system, in order to begin to transform the way our economy functions and reclaim our lives and our communities.

In addition to these individual strategies, Strike Debt encompasses a series of actions and projects that bring debt resistors together in a new social movement. These initiatives range from the Rolling Jubilee to organizing a Debt Strike to collecting stories of debt to the production of media, articles, art and websites to acts of mutual aid like producing “The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual” to local direct actions inspired by debt resistance. The possibilities of organizing around debt resistance are only beginning to be realized.

Strike Debt, like Occupy Wall Street, hopes to inspire autonomous action; it encourages all to join the resistance.

http://www.strikedebt.org | strikedebt@interoccupy.net

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[accordion_panel title=”Occupy Movement Rallies for “Debt Strike” Worldwide”]

Posted October 28th, 2012 by jackiews • permalink

Occupy Movement Rallies for “Debt Strike” Worldwide

Under the slogan “You are not a loan, you are not alone,” Occupy Wall Street’s “Strike Debt” group is aiming to inject life into a resistance movement against debt repayment. The operation is gaining worldwide support, and could very well revive the protest movement which was born a year ago….

The movement is already world-wide, but its momentum originates in the United States, where a striking reality cannot be denied: a debt strike is actually already underway there. Nicholas Mirzoeffe writes in his blog:

27 percent of student loans are in default and that number is rising.

$1.2 trillion of mortgage debt is underwater (debt exceeds value of property) or about one-third of all properties.

5 million homes have been foreclosed and 5 million more are under threat of foreclosure, meaning that owners are in default or behind on payments. 300,000 people had a foreclosure notification added to their credit report in the first quarter of this year. 27% of mortgages are seriously delinquent–ironically, a slight improvement. 300,000 more people went bankrupt.

The average credit card debt per household has fallen from $17, 936 in 2009 to $14,336 now: because of mass default. In 2010, credit card companies had to write off fully 10% of all debt.

These observations are striking. But how does one go from an individual refusal to repay – often without much choice – to a collective rebellion against debt?

That is the object of the Strike Debt operation. On the operation’s official site there is even a “Debt Resisters’ Operations Manual.”.. In each comprehensive, referenced section, a short history of the evolution of the banking and financial system allows for a better understanding of the perversity of the financial system.

On November 15, Strike Debt will announce the launch of an operation named “Rolling Jubilee”. The idea is to create a network of mutual help, allowing those who are not indebted to legally buy up the personal debts of those who are collapsing under their repayments.

The anthropologist David Graeber is one of the main sources of inspiration behind the operation. Graeber, one of the early instigators of Occupy Wall Street, is the author of a key work published in 2011, “Debt: the first 5,000 years,” in which he explores the history of debt, and launches an appeal for a debt jubilee, which was an important custom in antiquity, as he points out in his book…

In the name of what type of ethics does the debt contract rule?

Going beyond economic justifications, Occupy activists completely reject the moral argument often associated with debt according to which “all debt should be repaid.” On the site The Occupied Times, Michael Richmond writes:

What kind of morality is this morality of debt that says paying one’s debts is more important than anything else? We are seeing a regression back to Victorian times when debtors were criminalised, jailed and branded with a stigma that couldn’t be erased. And yet, everyone is in some kind of debt because the system is built on it, none more so than the entire financial sector which can only survive on public bailouts.

Astra Taylor interpreted it on September 5 2012 on the site The Nation:

Debt, a growing number of organizers believe, has the potential to serve as a kind of connective tissue for the Occupy movement, uniting increasingly dispersed organizing efforts around a common problem (debt) as opposed to a common tactic (occupation)…

Occupy was right to resist the temptation to issue concrete demands. But if I were to frame a demand today, it would be for as broad a cancellation of debt as possible (Graeber)…

full story at:
Translation posted 27 October 2012 10:55 GMT ·
View original post [fr] http://fr.globalvoicesonline.org/2012/10/22/125399/

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[accordion_panel title=”On Debt and privilege”]

Posted August 17th, 2012 by admin • permalink

Why focus on debt? Many of us don’t have debt, and don’t even have the privilege to have debt. But it’s more complicated than that. The whole damn thing runs on debt, and has for centuries, in all sorts of ways that we don’t see at first glance. Global capitalism uses debt to funnel wealth from the 99% to the 1%. This happens on every level of society.

The IMF and its structural adjustment programs are a great example. Sovereign debt is basically an imperial tax that keeps most countries in the world poor, servile and dependent on richer countries and financial institutions. It only works because of militaristic bullying and the threat of violence, exclusion and exile. Just look at Greece: it’s being held hostage as its civil society is completely dismantled. “Pay your debts and make cuts or we’ll kick you out of Europe, your currency will lose value, you’ll lose access to global credit.” But it’s a big bluff. Argentina and Iceland know this – there are other ways. The idea of constant growth and production in order to pay debts is destroying the planet, and taking us all down with it.

It’s only recently that this same structure has been forced upon the 99% within the rich countries. Austerity affects everyone, in all sorts of ways. Municipalities are broke and have to cut public services in every sector. Schools get closed, hospitals lose services, welfare structures get axed, because somehow every town and city in the world is in deep debt. Non-debtors are screwed and manipulated by debt too; it’s just not as obvious. Countries and cities owe money to financial institutions, but instead of taxing them they make us pay for basic social goods, which often means many of us go into debt to the very same institutions.

Even when it comes to debtors in the rich countries, it’s not as privileged or middle class as it seems. Just look at the numbers in predatory lending: subprime mortgages, insane interest rates and outrageous default rates at for-profit colleges are all rampant in low-income communities. Payday loans across the country charging 400% interest is just the beginning of the story.

Debt offers us a powerful framework; it is practical, offers sharp global analysis and connects many dots. The whole system needs to change. Whole societies have been run on fair, accessible credit and networks of trust instead of violence. We need to figure out ways to offer each other types of credit that don’t disenfranchise and disempower. It’s a huge task, but it’s a great first step to a more just, humane and equitable world.

Strike Debt is not just a debtor’s movement; it’s a movement to resist and transform the debt-system. Debt is personal for many people, but above all it is deeply structural. Debt resistance is crucial in our struggle, and it comes in many forms: fighting for free services (education, healthcare, etc), defending a foreclosed home, refusing payments to the banks, keeping others out of debt through fighting for higher wages or providing mutual aid.

It’s time to take action. Join the resistance.

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[accordion_panel title=”Minutes – Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual – 10-21-12″]

Posted October 22nd, 2012 by strikedebt • permalink
DebtOps-Notes 21102012_@60WallSt.
Group of about 10-15 participants
AGENDA:: Distribution; Outreach; Translations; Announcements; Action Agreements
//////////////// = BACK TO TOP
//Last two times we met discussed; SkyHorse; OR; Versa; Zuccotti Park Press; different people different concerns w/ each of those; discussed last week re: distribution amongst ourselves; as well ass getting ISBN #; possibility of producing e-book; mixed feelings then realized, Morgan and Mala work w/ PM Press; sent email this morning; unable to make this morning; Common Notions eager to work w/ strikeDebt; maintain autonomy over publication; political organizing experience in both US and UK; partners with PM Press and AK Press for international production; also can submit to Amazon; just put out Sylvia Federici book; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvia_Federici ;propose meeting in a couple weeks in Brooklyn;
//Would this be a proposal for DROM as is or for second edition?
POI – Whats the relationship btwn movement organs and Zuccotti Park Press?
//Not officially connected; but certainly sympathetic; people seem to be in favor of Zuccotti Park Press before offer
//Would that deal be exclusive?; in terms of distribution; never seen a book published by two publishers; more connected to Common Notions; rather trust resources within the group; also be open and flexible;
//Last week created a google doc, sent to Debt Ops List; everyone should participate in order to ; prolly have another 35 boxes; people have different claims on them; one of the things we talked about is being deliberate; need to arrange for shipping and have clarity for who where we going to distribute; how we’re actually going to make that happen ; need to be more strategic; under other outreach; mutual aid clinics; can we partner w/ other outreach teams and
//NEDAP; New Economy Project; we use them as a resources they’re one particular group that comes in mind as fas as getting the DROM out there; they work w/ low income communities in the cities; they train other groups and people to do financial justice; 10 boxes 15H books; they’re mostly talking re: rolling Jubilee and getting their talks about that
//Do they have contacts?; Ask: what organizations do you recommend?; Monica part of the Community Education will contact her and follow up.
//Other thing recommended we can just sit in one of the court rooms and find about that and talk to the people in the court proceedings the people who are being really ground up; we heard about the ways ; their is such an entanglement between all the people and you can’t tell who’s who the lawyers and court rooms; the court seems to be privatized; they court present itself as some sort of community group; NEDAP website;
//Organizing for Occupation; Housing as a Humanity; Take Back the Land; Rob Robertson is in touch ; event at CUNY on Fri.; RE: housing crisis; theatrical in a way a release of a report; also scheduled to meet sometime in Nov. ; concerns proposal resistance; keeping that attachment intact; and let people stay in their home; Is that really the most effective strategy?; I hope Rob reads the DROM book; His point of view seemed to have changed; Free Bedstuy event; really interesting contradicting American response w’ activism and other countries’ responses; kind of implying we don’t know how good we have them; We should engage in dialogue with these groups; if you “own” these homes that are decreasing in value by 35%+; then we also have to criticize the attachment in holding on; doesn’t allow the whole community to respond collectively as a community; somewhat disappointed that this other strategy is what people went through with; we’re about refusal; we didn’t talk about that explicitly as we were writing the manual; there are groups that are starting to do this; the way it’s an effective strategy is to allow your neighbors to come together; FUREE; Picture the Homeless; think about each chapter and how we can strategize; one thing is to drop off a box of DROMs; initiate conversations; working with a group; hold some kind of event and also to distribute; start w/ other occupy who have requested DROMs in relation to what chapters; make sense to tie to events so that it can be connect the personal w/ the abstract; and connect to groups that ; a Debtors Assembly happening in Cali;
//Go back to Questions on common notions; my own thought is getting an e-Book; the population that’s using Kindles and iPads; a lot of people have; experience making both suggest get a pro; I feel Mala can take the ball and run w/ it; support moving forward w/ Common Notions; conversation can be brought to strikeDebt but not sure if that’s necessary; perhaps our role should be making a list of the pros and cons of the publishers; we’d be comfortable w/ our decision; but the idea of publishing it at all; we’re really going to another economic relationship; thoughts re: whether we need to work w/ a publisher; should we wait for the second edition; we should continue to print; we should be using the printing revenue to subsidize; reaches a different audience in a different place; we wanted to move fwd w/ publishing in some way seemed to have a sense of consensus; what changed?; Mike also gave a convincing argument; kind of what Thomas is saying; offset and subsidize costs; limitations of really getting it out there simply through using our own networks; really worried re: the revenue not profit; where everything is right now; we have a lot of debt; members who have paid for the printing and we would like to have the money back preferably; I feel like we should; the manual is a hit; people love the DROM; each box to ship is 34 lb., to get them out to people; Where does the money come from?; We can say will ship for free, but we ask for a donation; We have no place to receive the checks; That is a sign of something that we have to address; It’s OK to address these questions; There’s a extortion and exchange of energy; exchange relation freaks me out in general; last week we left the meeting ; research the bank ; have a company; In talking to see the unfortunate thing the income would cost as her; lets just say to someone opens up the bank account; greater tax consequences; Set up some sort of entity that is some sort of non-profit; until we do that we can’t pay people back effectively; we can’t move fwd in aggressively in re: top distribution; seems to me a really broad strike debt conversation; even just to sign a book contract you need to be an entity; And to do so you need to some board; I think we created our own cognitive dissonance; We need to work through that collectively; Would like to consider that we all like to work within the mutual aid movement; we can’t really do so w/ entities outside the movement; I don’t think its necessarily ethically contradictory; I don’t think it’ll be necessarily contradictory; I think we can almost make this simple; We need a bank account; We need to form an entity; Is this part of strikeDebt? Or more generally, is it DROM?;
//Perhaps later on we can combine this discussion w/ strikeDebt generally; so the main issue: we need more DROMs and a lot of us need to be compensated + telethon; some pledged money need to follow up; b/c were interacting w/ different people and entities; could be strike debt DBA as DROM; but needs to be differentiated;
//Something that was done in Philly was a DBA and having different signatories; issue can leverage people due to their relationships; better to do some sort of guild ; involves more people and has less liability; of course we need to get something moving on things now; I would not open it up in someone’s name; need to have a person to be responsible; do you want to go against the grain that we’ve been practicing a year+ re:accountability and transparency?; Situations happen where some are called out as, truth tellers for telling a lie and a liar for telling the truth; do you choose one person to be trusted?; if we really want to build this, we need a transition plan; and also whatever we do figure out a plan in order to get rid of that person, if need be; best place http://www.gofundme.com/  it buys some time; also create line items; strike debt I look at as an entire ___? for the movement; a dedicated source should be considered; in a movement you need to make sure things are going to get done; this amount must be in the account all the time;
//Can we go to someone w/ the a fiscal sponsor? However make sure there’s a team of people responsible to get that fiscal sponsor by the balls; ex. some people had mismanaged the fiscal sponsor option in Pennsylvania, almost lost their Non-profit; In respect to rolling jubilee we could not find someone; this is a larger conversation; We have no overhead; But we do; Time and energy; Actually have to determine the sustainability; How is this project really sustainable? At some level it’s really not free; A lot of people in the group have precarious economic situations; let that become the staging ground for how to make things happen; Today we can’t send out any boxes; Can’t take in money unless we resolve getting a bank account; Real option is this company -( the LLC); and starting it in debt?; As far as in Penn: as long as under 10K should be fine; That’s what we bottom line as the ceiling; and to be accountable for overhead; Accountability and transparency; Comfortable w/ many people having access; That was the suggestion; Also comfortable initializing the process tomorrow; In initiating process of non-profit organization; If thats’s better strategy I’d be willing to move fwd in that way;
1 – use existing LLC as temp solution; a bank account not tied to that
2 – C-8 or C10 a guild
3 – start a non- prophet
//we should do what we do well and triage; temp move fwd; we’re not getting stuff out; need to work w/ the momentum; the transportation is issue; two boxes 70$; Chris sent small stack they didn’t pick it up get sent back; feeling FEDEX flat rate problems as well as UPS; price varies; complications re: logistics of sending;
Proposal to take Pam’s offer and move FWD;
//Mike said he wants to open it on the LES; So someone wants to facilitate this?;
//Who are these manuals going to; and is it cost effective to send it as a link; this is interrelated to strikeDebt;  part of the idea is that this is an outreach tool; this would help them to initiate their own strike debt chapter; doing this as a way to broden nationally; how to do more local outreach to other communities; we should be super intentional about where we want them to go;
//Anyone contact OccupySupply = FiredogLake; are they based out of anyplace particularly?; If they got things in place ; Why not create a partnership; Also ask interOccupy; Let’s start working together before going outside;
//There’s a lack of clarity on our relationships with occupy and outside institutions;
//def desire for DROMs in Chattanooga; checked luggage can do;
//emphasize people top do their own printing; Thomas and Morgan made zine format; do it themselves or through printers; ship a certain amount; On debt-ops list serve w/subject heading as: Re: [debt-ops] DROM in DIY Zine Format
//Feel like for the boxes to re-box them is a big project; want to reduce time and reduce labor; think about the middle of the country a lot more ; use manuals effectively to link up; might reveal bias on our side due to writing the manual; talked about setting up an interOccupy call; create your chapter; hold your debtors assembly; Isn’t there a meeting at Ross’s to discuss a Union? Yes; advocating what strike debt is doing and the value of the boxes; encourage self-publishing; at least have a personal; contact; this is about the book distribution; we might find that having a book in the book store might be a good way to do outreach;
//we def want some for the telethon; capacity is 700; we should aim for that amount; what’s a swag bag; like a packaged gift bag w/ assorted goods given away at events; is that lowering us to swag bag?; someone came up with a matchbook idea; fortune cookies…
Proposal Restated: Take Pam’s offer in regards to the LLC and move FWD; put a date on it; With caveat: Sue might have some input to shoot things down; Meantime research options with guild and other ways;
Temp Check:  CONSENSUS
//Talk about the structure; guild is a group of people getting together for fraternal purposes; fraternal tripping me out; what’s the difference btwn 8 and 10?; If you have life insurance or not; the only reason to set up the company in the first place was to get health insurance; we’re talking about less than two and 1/2 months; having a deadline doesn’t mean we can’t extend; some already starting the research and we can move fwd; End date is also the beginning of date of…;
//On Spanish Translation; approaching end on chapter on Credit Scores and Credit Agencies; looking at all idiomatic expressions; Dan and Catherine joined; still like to get the original file in the original format;
//Interest in the Russian format;
//Are we going to be printing the Spanish version?; Spanish working title; realistically can’t give end date; horizon on 3-4 weeks maybe a month for the spanish version
//Someone told me someone working on several sections of the manual into Arabic; contacted awaiting word;
//The process for doing the spanish can be good for other translations; establishing a google doc; and style guide;
//Put this doc up; I thought this would be a collective project; enter what I didn’t enter in the doc; what are the things we need to do as well :external fair hikes; a lot about municipal debt so we should consider if we want to print an ESP version and print for that at the time; where we want to print the manuals; looking towards the beginning of the next year; Do we need more in terms of outreach for other neighborhoods; we need to fundraise for reimbursement  first; we need to distribute the books we have; work on this publishing situation which seems already resolved; look at how much money we need to resolve this; if were committing to working with these groups; those manuals are going to move fast;
//Suggestion move really fast; a special cover page; take out the municipal debt part; the pull out have specifics on the pull out; when is the fair hike in boston?; Early January; We have to reach the Unions;
//the municipal debt section; can fit on a letter size; Institute of Anarchist studies;http://www.anarchist-studies.org/ ;their obviously interrelated; website important have links; Talking about NYTimes for exclusive; they’re owned by the banks; Even a QR code; Ads are expensive in NYTimes; Distribution audience is large; you never know until you ask; ask three time before you capitulate; as part of the group that published this; The UnaBomber http://www.nytimes.com/1995/09/20/us/publication-of-unabomber-s-tract-draws-mixed-response.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm ; a book review maybe?;
//something we haven’t resolved:: we have essays we didn’t publish in DROM but kind of told them that they’d be standalone essaya and we haven’t talked about it full; People who haven’t contributed to the manual can expound on certain topics; and also the OfftheGrid stuff; An alternative way of living; a momentum towards a declaration on how to move towards this realm; With that in mind we’re moving along w/ that on topic of commons; occupy university and forum on thecommons ; it’d be nice to see how they come together again; On chapter on sovereign Debt; have conversations after meeting…;
//If we do end up going on publisher; we can shoot for MayDay; as the ideal gift for graduation; get a diploma and a DROM; grandparents would love this; are we on such a long timeline?;
//Meeting w/ Mala on common Notions; propose sometime in the next week or two
//Raising funds and accounting; looking at long term option will work w/ pams corporation and check in w/ Sue (an accountant) re: remaining issues
//Translations; reach out anyone we know; contacted a mandarin teacher will look around; French, German; Korean ; and Italian; Contact:: Dan @ macondiac@gmail.com
//what about an ad on craigslist?; also can be used as an outreach tool; are you a recent graduate w/ a lot of debt?; got a lot of response
/// def Philadelphia chapter is having first planning meeting @ the Wooden Shoe Bookstore; www.woodenshoebooks.com/ ; holds 70 people; next sunday; 2pm 704 south street; on faceBook;
//Completing document re: a clear plan on strategy; it’s on google docs;

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[accordion_panel title=”Strike Debt MINUTES – 10/14/12″]

Posted October 15th, 2012 by admin • permalink

Strike Debt MINUTES – 10/14/12


Decisions & Action Items:

• Administrative Training: a doodle will go out for an administrative training session, so that this work can be spread more equitably – Winter and Ann

• Plugging New People In: a proposal will be made next week about restructuring meeting to plug new people into Strike Debt more effectively – Shyam

• Winter Assembly Meeting Location – We will meet at 60 Wall next week. Starting on 10/28 we will meet at 16 Beaver for 4 consecutive weeks. During this time, a committee will determine what our options are and we will decide on a permanent meeting space for the winter. An “Inner Spaces” Committee is formed. Contact Christopher B and join: strikedebt-indoorspace@lists.occupy.net

• Book Club – An email will go out with an announcement for the next Strike Debt book club meeting this week. First 2 Chapters of I’ve Got the Light of Freedom will be discussed. Contact Sarah or Shyam for a link to the chapters.

• Task Force Meetings – Local and National/International task forces will meet this week prior to the meeting. Nick and Natasha will bottom line for the National/International group and Amin and Sandy will bottom line for Local.


I) Introductions and Speak Outs, Hand signals/community agreements/brief history of Strike Debt
II) Reportbacks
positive feelings about the event:
– successfully disrupted Columbus Circle area
– more people than expected
– pop up OTS successful
– puppets, performances worked
– great energy at 6pm Assembly
– built international solidarity: France, Portugal, Madrid, Barcelona
– now we have great opportunities for exchange
constructive self critique
– hard to tell what march was about
– in general action was not legible
– needed a big clear sign
– need flyers for passersby
– police adjusted to 1 person mic check too quickly, need to use technique of moving mic checks – next time designate 3-4 people so cops are forced to deal with the whole crowd

Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual
– Working on getting a bank account – will probably start as a DBA (doing business as)
– Working on a distribution strategy
– Planning an InterOcc call to figure out who is interested in boxes
– Considering Zuccotti Park Press to print professionally so that it can reach more people
– Planning on recording version
– Many translations in progress
– Hoping for Braille
– Developing a strategy document for long term planning

Rolling Jubilee
– Starting with medical debt
– Working on the telethon (aka The Peoples’ Bailout)
– Working on bylaws for the non profit
– Opening bank account
– Planning test run of buying debt
– Le Poisson Rouge is giving us a ton: door, security, TVs to stream, huge space
– Need HELP with visual installations
– Telethon plan is for three 1 hour acts – each act will be 7 minutes – it’s a variety show with music, comedy, lectures etc…
– Need a plan of attack for the space – 700 people capacity – we need to fill it!
– How do we get tickets sold? People to call in?
– What are we inviting people to next?

Strike Debt Administrative Training
– Winter and Ann do almost all of this work and need to train others to take some of it on
– Help is needed with the following:
1. Moderating email
2. Checking the various email address and responding
3. Maintaining the InterOcc Hub
4. Handling mass emails
5. Posting events to the website, interocc hub
6. Updating the website
7. Editing the content for the website
8. And the list goes on

iii. DECISION: a doodle will go out for a training session so that this work can be spread more equitably

III) Breakouts
Structuring meetings to help newcomers plug in
– Many ideas were generated:
– Functioning meetings are not the best place for new people to plug in – “open houses” or other regular events people could come to would be better
– Need other things that people can come to
– SD needs to be overhauled structurally so that it’s not all or nothing – we need tiers of engagement
– A more formal training process is needed
– Welcome packets
– Making a personal connection
– Greeter at meetings
– Clarity on where to go, how to get on lists, where to find info online
– There’s confusion over listservs
– Need an outward facing campaign to attract new participants – MTA fare hikes would make sense
– Meeting should have a 30 minute before session for new people
– We need a “needs and offers” list
– Facilitation needs to be rotated
– Speakouts about debt should happen with continuity, but not necessarily at every meeting

DECISION: a group of people have decided to develop a proposal based on this brainstorming for next meeting

IV) Discussion/Agenda Items
From last week: assembly meeting space through fall and winter
– Concerns expressed over consistency of location, comfort, public versus private space

DECISION: We will meet at 60 Wall next week. Starting on 10/28 we will meet at 16 Beaver for 4 consecutive weeks. During this time, a committee will determine what our options are and we will decide on a permanent meeting space for the winter. Christopher B will bottomline.

Submitted last week
National Day of Action: Solidarity Against Austerity
– Informal agreement around participating in some way
– Ideas for participation: Statement, Visual banner or something visual
– There is concern over where energy is spent
– Agree to discuss in the National/International breakout

Discussion: Speaking and Press Engagements: Step Up/Step Back
– Concern is expressed that some members of the group appear more in public than others
– Concern is expressed that there is not enough balance between the academic and the everyday
– Suggestion is made that people participate with the study group that is forming so that we can all share the same language.
– Concern that panels, OccU/FreeU, and press are not the same and cannot be practically shared in many cases
– Concern that many of the public intellectuals are generous with their time and reputations toward the betterment of the group.

DECISION: An email will go out with an announcement for the next Strike Debt book club meeting this week. First 2 Chapters of I’ve Got the Light of Freedom will be discussed. Contact Sarah or Shyam for a link to the chapters.

DECISION: A list of those interested in a general media/press/panel/presentation session will be created. Leina will bottomline the list.
* Creating a “Press Group” will be a possible agenda item for next week.

V) Breakouts (Temp Check?)
No breakouts are held. There is much more to discuss than time will allow in a breakout.

DECISION: Local and National/International task forces will meet this week prior to the meeting.

VI) Next Steps
See decisions/action items in first section of minutes

VII) Announcements
– Occupy Faith is conducting The Peoples’ Investigation of Money, Debt and Power. Contact Grace to get involved: grace.davie@gc.cuny.edu
– Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting will have two sessions on Debt and Social Movements: one will be historical, one will focus on housing resistance. Contact Pam ASAP if you would like more info: pambrown15@gmail.com
– Hot and Crusty has lost the gains they made. Support the workers with boots on the ground. This Thursday, 4-6pm at 63rd and 2nd.
– There is a talk on Monday at CUNY on student movements. 1:30pm
– OccU is hosting a week of discussions on debt join us: https://www.facebook.com/events/469127639777091/ AND help us promote the event by singing on the subway! Contact Winter: winter@riseup.net
– Sarah Quinter has put together a show at Blue Stockings for the Icarus Project. The opening is Sunday, Oct 14th at 7pm. The show will continue running this month. Contact Sarah: miss.quintessential01@gmail.com
– At the Creative Time Summit Strike Debt was discussed with various cultural producers. Spain and Ireland are thinking along the same lines. We need an affirmation. What is our positive vision? We need to do a better job plugging people in. Contact Amin: amin.husain@gmail.com
– A conversation needs to happen around alternatives, economic alternatives. Contact Natasha: nats.nats85@gmail.com
– The Peoples’ Investigation of the NYPD has launched! Already has 35 likes on FB, but need stories for the Tumblr. We need the police to be accountable! They should be protecting our rights, not repressing our rights! Contact Christopher to get involved: christopherhbrown@gmail.com

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[accordion_panel title=”Minutes – Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual – 10/7/12″]

Posted October 8th, 2012 by strikedebt • permalink

DROM Meeting




  • 5000 Copies originally printed, <3 boxes left which are all spoken for
  • Agreed to print 5k+ more copies before O13. Deadline 10-8-12 to place PO.
  • 5k copies cost $3665 (0.74¢ each), 7.5k are $4950 (0.66¢ each), 10k are $6300 (0.63¢ each).
  • $30-$40 to mail a box of approximately 150 manuals. This may not be the most cost effective solution to getting the manuals distributed.
  • pdf chapters on-line and zine format to facilitate local printing of manuals
  • It is important to see how the entire manual represents the connections between different types of debt
  • Focus on Edition 1 right now. Edition 2 time-line is more than 1 month away
  • Edition 2 will include Sovereign Debt Chapter, possible Appendix to include letters to representatives concerning Municipal Debt, Essays, Stories
  • Email responses and web input is being compiled
  • People have been asking how to default and what type of support they will get
  • On-line forum could be used for organized conversations
  • RSS feed update thread on the website



  • Last round was internal
  • Manuals have been distributed free which is consistent with our Philosophy to not put people in debt for information
  • S15 voluntary donations were $800
  • Kickstarter has been used by several people but garnered some negative feedback, must reach the goal to receive funding
  • Indiegogo – 9% fee if goal is not reached, 4% fee if goal is reached
  • Wepay – Need to research
  • Looking for more information and feedback on these and others in next meeting
  • O13 After Party



  • Have been approached by 3+ publishers
  • Publishers offer a means to expand distribution and visibility. Do royalties go back to Strike Debt? Who buys from these publishers, class? Could change the tone and hurt distribution.
  • Concern of the image of the manuals going from grassroots to corporate. Audience could change by using certain publishers/distributors. Do they represent principles of Strike Debt?
  • How do print shops operate and the treatment of workers? Verso (sp?) and FuckVerso website
  • Collective Options: Skyhorse, AK Press, Occucopy (volunteer and other ways to mitigate costs)
  • Agreed to proceed with Occucopy and self-publish
  • Should manual include QR Code on back and Badge?
  • Could we generate a short message with QR Code on stickers to tag buses and other advertising spaces to generate interest and web traffic?



  • Spanish is underway. Open google document to translate in real time.
  • Working on style guide to be consistently consistent.
  • Considering Greek, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Korean and others. Need to Prioritize.
  • Should speak with OWS Translation Working Group
  • Occupy London is looking at overlap between US DROM and one for UK.
  • How to reach communities – Immigrants Rights Coalition, CUP
  • Possible addition with translated manuals – Know Your Rights and a message to take a translator to any debt negotiation.
  • Sign language (ASL), Braille
  • Audio Book (Audacity), Readers Theater Party. Looking for recording space



  • Website developers need your help!
  • Who do we need to reach: low income, people of color
  • Work through existing organizations in communities, churches and community groups have been organizing for decades
  • Do NOT panic between events. This conversation has been going on for 9 months and will continue and develop at a natural pace
  • Google doc open for comments and contributions



  • O13 After Party –
  • Fundraiser –
  • Audio Recording –


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[accordion_panel title=”Minutes – Strike Debt, 9/30/2012″]

Posted September 30th, 2012 by strikedebt • permalink

Minutes – Strike Debt Assembly – 9/30/12



Next Meeting:

Sunday, October 7, 2pm (location TBD)



Decisions Made:


0cobter 13 Action (O13)

1) Action group is empowered to come up with framework for 013 action on Wednesday, 10/3 meeting. Time and location of meeting will be announced on Strike Debt list serve.


2) Process team will host an 013 Action Spokes Council this Friday (10/5) and next Friday (10/12) to coordinate actions.



1) Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual team is empowered to start kickstarter/indiegogo to print more manuals.


2) Creation of PR/Funding Group to:

Articulate needs, expenses, resources of Strike Debt

Research possibilities for general Strike Debt fund

Talk to ARF, OWS accounting

Come up with process for transparency

Coordinate fundraising across projects

Come back with proposal

If fund is set up, money won’t be used until structure is set



1) Facilitation team empowered to come up with agenda and post on Google Doc/List Serve by Saturday



Agenda Items for Next Meeting:




What to do with names & emails collected?

            Rolling Jubilee/Telethon (1 hour?)





Rolling Jubilee

Buy defaulted debt for pennies on dollar

Set up Non-Profit (501C4) – can take anonymous donors

Opening bank account – LES People’s Union

Need $5000-$6000 for “First Run” of debt buy

Working on website, need developer ($500)


Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual

Have several hundred manuals left

Boxes sent around the country

Scribd 49,000+ views

Translating into Spanish, Russian, German

Needs: other languages

Approached by 4 publishers

Need to determine timeline for 2nd Edition



French Journalist doing story on student debt/Strike Debt

Political repression in Southwest/Occupy

Discussion with SF about Strike Debt





013 Action



Mapping out DROM

Convergence @ Fort Greene

6pm Casseroles March

AG Actions


Discussion Points:

Community Organizations working on Barclay’s

What do we do at the Cash Checking place? Careful with tone

Informational and not protest?

Concerns about Fort Greene Park – not good space

Other possible spaces?

Hub throughout day?

Debt walking tour (ie, this place is connected to debt b/c of x, y, z)

How do we make the DROM into an action?

Concerns about Barclay’s. Why Brooklyn? Why Barclay’s?

Reach out to puppetry, Jay-Z, Barbara Streisand, CBOs

Big IMF/World Bank protests in Japan

Mass casseroles marches in Europe

Function of event – focus on international

Doesn’t have to be a big day of action

Bring it back to action group

What is the framework?

How do we participate in Monday OWS meeting?

Encourage everyone to come to Monday OWS meeting


Two things to do:

1) Announcing date

2) Creating spokes





DROM needs $5000-$6000

RJ needs $5000 for “First Run” (can be raised through Non-Profit account)

Other expenses (web development)


Does Strike Debt need general bank account?

Immediate term:



Kickstarter for DROM?

Need infrastructure for general fund

Raise for specific projects, build infrastructure

When/how do we reach out to people who want to donate?

Do we need hard copies of DROM?

Send the DROM out (Creative PDF campaign)

Timeline so fundraising is coordinated

Single location – donation to SD – choose DROM or RJ

DROM print on demand?



Task force breakout


National –


(Sorry I missed the reportbacks for this!!)










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[accordion_panel title=”Strike Debt Meeting Minutes 9/9/2012″]

Posted September 10th, 2012 by strikedebt • permalink

Minutes: Strike Debt 9-9-12



  1. Strike Debt summary document presented and consensed
  2. Rolling Jubilee reportback on constituting the group as a corporation as a 501.c.4 as used by community groups.
  3. S17 Letter to intellectuals and artists ready to go
  4. Propaganda: banners/materials $250 spent. Thursday S13 323 W39th between 8th  and 9th Ave sign making event. Statement draft exists as Googledoc. Keep receipts for post S17 reimbursement.



  1. Press dossier to be created. Press release to be written by Andrew, Astra, Pam. Press contacts to be contacted.



  1. 1-4pm Thematic Assembly. Marisa and Nick facilitating SD breakout. 4-7 Training. Debt Resistors Launch at Judson 7.30pm.

–tabling for SD 11-7 in WSP, sign up sheets, with the big banner.

–For Manual launch: Occupy Faith to be invited.

–Readings from Manual

–PR for Manual: Nick and Pam to contact OWS Press.

–Fundraising at Judson for printing



  1. 1-6pm Concert and OTS at Foley
  2. Discussion about SD on stage in concert w/ Michele Shocked

–Tabling for SD

–15 minute performance with Michele Shocked.

–projections of slogans/images, debt boulder rolling, Invisible Army unmasked, communiqué.

–Affinity group to work with Yates.

–Communiqué: Nick, Marisa, Nicole, Winter



Four zones around SE: Strike Debt has a “zone” from Broad St to Pine/Wall.

S17 Meet at 55 Water St at 6:30am.

7-10am People’s Wall OR Swirl can be done in the zone.

10am Eco action and “hurricane” march or autonomous actions

11am Spokes at South Ferry: where’s the energy? What’s next? Snake March?

12pm Action to be decided at Spokes

2pm Debt Assembly at South Ferry



Every day from Weds 6pm (recommended) at Zuccotti.

Spokes on Friday 5pm 55 Water. Trainings Sat 4-7 WSP.






Strike Debt Assembly: Building a Debtors’ Union

September 23rd, 12:00 PM, Washington Square Park





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[accordion_panel title=”Strike debt action meeting minutes 8/16/12″]

Posted August 17th, 2012 by admin • permalink

Notes from August 16, 2012 – Strike Debt Action Meeting

1) Broad discussion of timeline of projects in Strike Debt & role of S17
• Need to have separate meeting to determine what Strike Debt will do for S17. We want to do a debt burning.
• We need to talk about structure!

2) What does a debt burning look like?
• not just an open space, but structured
• controlled messaging
• speakout, and then burn piece of paper
• use a coffee can which is passed around, like in draft card burning
• use an emcee or facilitator, not just white men please
• what is the tone? from somber/mourning (early) to celebratory (later)
• how does the event end?
• start with Q&A, why debt? what about privilege?
• prepare for undesirably possibilities (someone calling a march, etc)
• curating and preparing people to burn certain kinds of debt
o must show all the connections
o have people burn municipal debt records
o burn sovereign debt somehow
o burn payday loans, etc
• go from 1) forms of debt we reject (by burning) to 2) how this leads to new social fabric. from extortion to sharing
• incorporate forms of mutual aid (we like food/cake)
• music, fun @ end
• engaging from beginning to end
• what did draft card burning look like?

3) More concrete details and ideas for Debt Burning
a. When: Saturday, September 1; 4pm (rain date Sun, Sept 2)
b. Location: Central Park, Sheep’s Meadow
c. Name (not finalized): Some variation of “Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay” or “Discover the Power of Refusal” with the word “Debt” and some word describing burning (roast, barbeque, etc).
d. Flyer: Sarah will bottom-line. Will have image of match over text on front, call for action w/ map on back
e. Messaging: Emphasize how debt affects us all and destroys our communities, exodus from financial system, moving forward, rebuilding community (need a video)
f. Outreach: hit all types of debt: education, medical, consumer, housing, municipal, sovereign, fringe. outreach to organizations working in these areas. try to get people from these organizations, not their leaders
g. Call ideas: how does debt affect you? bring your story. how do you symbolize that and burn it? dress in your Sunday best!
h. Structure: Games & crafts as people arrive. Emcee/facilitator frames the event, gathers everyone together. Gives an intro for 5-10 minutes. A few pre-prepared people tell their story and burn their artifact. Emcee checks in and does vibe check. When energy is lowering, emcee wraps up. Cake comes out and we eat it together. We imagine life after debt.
i. Rough Schedule:
4pm: meet, games, crafts
4:30pm: emcee gathers people around
4:45pm: emcee intro
4:50pm: burnings
5:30pm: vibe check
5:45pm: wrap up
5:50pm: cake!

4) Next Steps (everyone do these things!):
a. Outreach efforts:
i. Healthcare for 99%, Sunset Park Rent Strikers, 040, Picture the Homeless, Jubilee USA, etc. **We want to sit down with them and figure out how to have them plug-in to this event and explain context.
ii. Come up with list of events and places to outreach
b. Give S feedback about her text for flyer/FB
c. Flyer
d. FB
e. Check out Central Park space
f. Check NYC burning laws
g. Create Call for Action: Debt Burnings for Nat’l Coordination
h. Send N ideas for propaganda video materials – text, images, footage, etc. (Why Debt? Debt and Privilege. What is debt resistance? Why burn debt? How to burn debt?)

5) Next Meeting
Wednesday, August 22, 7pm
Earth Matters, 177 Ludlow St, NY

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[accordion_panel title=”Minutes are forthcoming”]

Posted July 27th, 2012 by greggsky • permalink



The information here is from the Occupy.net wiki. Use the wiki to document everything pertaining to your Hub. Wikis are a powerful way to share content and document the processes for the work you are engaged in.

[wiki-embed url=”http://wiki.occupy.net/wiki/Strikedebt” tabs]

[ai1ec view="agenda"]