From:   J.A. Myerson <>
Sent time:   Monday, October 24, 2011 7:22:28 AM
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] Initiative on Student Debt

Student debt forgiveness is a great idea, but essentially one that helps white folks. Let's not make our campaign's result be the calcification of systems of racial dominance.


On Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 6:46 AM, <> wrote:
I am REALLY glad a campaign around student debt is being considered.
But this is TOTALLY the wrong way to start it.
Rather than getting the campaign bogged down in debates about whether students could or would refuse repayment in sufficient numbers, and therefore whether the numbers were adequate for the campaign to succeed, the campaign from the start should simply demand: "Cancel the Debt!"
It's true that in Liverpool (in the '80s?) there was a hugely successful campaign to refuse paying poll taxes. But the much more common demand, for instance throughout the Third World, especially after overthrowing a dictator who took out the loans from Western capital in the first place, has been "Cancel the Debt!"
And the PRACTICE of revolutionary governments has always been to cancel the debt when first taking power.

---------- Original Message ----------
From: Vicente Rubio <>
To: september17 <>
Cc: Andrew Ross <>
Subject: [september17discuss] Initiative on Student Debt
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 12:51:15 -0400

Hi all,

there's a video recorded by a youtube user of last Wednesday's Open Forum, "Is Student Debt a Form of Indenture?" with Andrew Ross (NYU, EduFactory).

This event was especially important, imo, because it helped to start an initiative on student debt. Andrew (with Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis, who also discussed debt issues this week at the Open Forum) read on Wednesday a draft for a pledge of refusal of debt payment. This fostered an interesting debate, and a subcommittee for this initiative is being formed under the Empowerment and Education WG. This student debt initiative subcommittee is still not approved, it will be presented next Friday at the E & E wg meeting, but nevertheless I wanted to share the videos with you, and asked you for your collaboration on this. I would like to know if there are other working groups currently working on similar actions, so we can join forces and help this initiative grow. Please let me know. I copy here the draft for the pledge of refusal. Further explanation on this can be found at the video.




Pledge of Refusal

Higher Education is more and more financed through student debt. Even
in times of fuller employment, this system is morally unsustainable.
Now, with chronic underemployment likely for decades to come, the most
indebted generation in history will carry an intolerable burden into
the future. The time has come to refuse this debt load. Education is
not a commodity and it should not be a vehicle for generating debt or
profit. Public Education, at the tertiary level, should be publicly
funded and should be tuition-free. Student loans, whether in the
public or private sector, should be interest-free.Many other countries
support tuition-free university systems. The U.S. should join that list.

As part of a national unity campaign to abolish student debt, I pledge
to stop making loan payments after one million others have signed this

J.A. Myerson