From:   Lycophidion <>
Sent time:   Monday, October 24, 2011 10:47:38 PM
To:   september17 <>
Subject:   SPAM-MED: [september17discuss] Re: Initiative on Student Debt

I absolutely agree with acpollack2. A campaign built around individual

refusals to pay their debt puts the burden on those individuals and

opens them up for victimization. I am personally well over six figures

in student debt, with only part-time work and a son starting college.

Moreover, it is a response built around atomized individuals (and

those who would make any such campaign effective are scattered

throughout the country), with no collective context or support. Thus,

it is not a well-conceived POLITICAL campaign that brings the victims

together and brings our power to bear in collective actionagainst the

banks and institutions that are asphyxiating us with this debt. If you

must propose a campaign of payment refusal, it should be in the

context of a mounting political campaign to cancel the debt. However,

I would not even contemplate taking part in a campaign of individual

payment refusal, because it would not only put me at risk for default

(and is the campaign going to bail me out?), but it would be an act of

supreme irresponsibility to my son and his future. And think about it:

I'm saying this and I'm an OWS labor activist.




On Oct 24, 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.


> Best,


> Vicente.


> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


> 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

> pledge.