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Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:43 PM

 

Best Telethon Ever: Strike Debt’s Scrappy, Brilliant People’s Bailout

Stop The Wars ‏@sickjew

Best Telethon Ever: #StrikeDebt’s Scrappy, Brilliant People’s Bailout
http://www.flavorwire.com/347336/best-telethon-ever-strike-debts-scrappy-brilliant-peoples-bailout … (v @alexisgoldstein)

“Hello, my debt is $40k.” As we entered the People’s Bailout last night at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, a volunteer invited us to make a name tag — but instead of writing down our names, we were supposed to fill in the amount of debt we’re struggling under. Although my student loan debt isn’t something I’m used to speaking openly about, and the naďveté with which I mortgaged my future to get a master’s degree in a field where master’s degrees aren’t so much a requirement as a stigma still embarrasses me, I grabbed the Sharpie and wrote, “$40k.” For the first time since I started making my just-barely-feasible loan payments, being honest about my debt brought me relief instead of guilt.

I didn’t expect the People’s Bailout to be such a personal experience for me. Organized by Strike Debt, an Occupy Wall Street offshoot dedicated to fight predatory lending and challenge big banks’ power over the vast majority of Americans through credit card, medical, educational, and mortgage debt, the event was a benefit for the organizations Rolling Jubilee project — an ingenious plan to buy up distressed debt and forgive it. Since debt can be bought for just pennies on the dollar on the secondary market, Strike Debt realized that if they raised $250,000, they could relieve a whopping $5 million of it. To aid in the effort, they planned the People’s Bailout as a live — and live-streamed — telethon, featuring performances by a boatload of entertainers sympathetic to the cause. Although I always supported the cause, I’ll admit that it was those big names (Jeff Mangum’s in particular) that convinced me to make my donation and come down to LPR.

But what I experienced after I filled out my name tag and stuck it among the others on a wall of personal debt made the night about much more than rare performances. There was something of Zuccotti Park in the air, with handwritten financial horror stories blown up to poster size and stuck on the wall of LPR’s bar area, as Occupy-related organizations tabled and handed out flyers. Outside the venue, anarchist performance-art icon and perennial presidential candidate Vermin Supreme greeted attendees by asking, Mr. Rogers-style, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” Strangers working for one cause or another introduced themselves. Performers who jokingly alluded to violent revolution against the 1% or pointed out that corporations control not just Republicans but both major political parties got the loudest applause (well, except for Mangum). Even the air was permeated by that faint mix of body odor and residual (or maybe not so residual) marijuana that anyone who spent much time in Liberty Square will forever associate with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

(More at the link.)

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Reply Best Telethon Ever: Strike Debt’s Scrappy, Brilliant People’s Bailout (Original post)
Fire Walk With Me Nov 2012 OP
antiquie Nov 2012 #1
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #2

Response to Fire Walk With Me (Original post)


Response to Fire Walk With Me (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:55 PM

2. They really are so creative, and 'unstoppable' despite the efforts

to destroy them.

There was something of Zuccotti Park in the air, with handwritten financial horror stories blown up to poster size and stuck on the wall of LPR’s bar area, as Occupy-related organizations tabled and handed out flyers.


Using Wall Street's own tactics is brilliant.

I know they worked on this for months, while the anti-OWS contingency was declaring them 'dead'!

It's too bad that even though their efforts won't solve the problem of the huge amount of debt students carry, they have done more with this to help people than our elected officials have even tried to do.

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