Occupy abolishes $4 million in other people’s student loan debt | CNN

After forgiving millions of dollars in medical debt, Occupy Wall Street is tackling a new beast: student loans.

Marking the third anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the group’s Strike Debt initiative announced Wednesday it has abolished $3.8 million worth of private student loan debt since January. It said it has been buying the debts for pennies on the dollar from debt collectors, and then simply forgiving that money rather than trying to collect it.

In total, the group spent a little more than $100,000 to purchase the $3.8 million in debt.

While the group is unable to purchase the majority of the country’s $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt because it is backed by the federal government, private student debt is fair game.

This debt Occupy bought belonged to 2,700 people who had taken out private student loans to attend Everest College, which is run byCorinthian Colleges. Occupy zeroed in on Everest because Corinthian Colleges is one of the country’s largest for-profit education companies and has been in serious legal hot water lately.

Following a number of federal investigations, the college told investors this summer that it plans to sell or close its 107 campuses due to financial problems — potentially leaving its 74,000 students in a lurch.

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Occupy activists abolish $3.85m in Corinthian Colleges students’ loan debt

Over the last few days, over 2,700 Everest College students woke up to find that someone had paid off their private student debt.

This was no act of goodwill by the government, which is currently suing Everest parent Corinthian Colleges for its predatory lending practices. Nor is it a gift from Everest itself, which is expected to shutter its doors and possibly leave 72,000 students out of their time and tuition.

Instead, the disappearing student loan debt is the second major piece of financial activism by a group of Occupy Wall street activists.

To inspire Americans with student debt to unionize, the Rolling Jubilee Fund, a project of Strike Debt, has purchased and abolished a portfolio of private student loans issued to Everest students.

Strike Debt is also launching a new initiative – The Debt Collective, which will “create a platform for organization, advocacy and resistance by debtors”.

“Solutions are not going to happen if we just wait for Congress to do it,” says Thomas Gokey, one of the organizers. “We need a social movement. We need debtors to unite to exert collective power.”

The portfolio was valued at – to be exact – $3,856,866.11 in student debt.

The Guardian

Don’t get distracted - the truth is the truth- by @mospoon_mpac “Now this that bull! by @prettyboy314 “We won’t forget these moments St. Louis! U are abusing your power when u do this bs!! @shaunking #ripmikemike #ripmikebrown #anonymous #ferguson #stlouis #occupy #enoughisenough #pbp #msnbc #cnn #ows #iammikebrown #handsupdontshoot #chitown #chiraq #un #unitednations #geneva #genevaconvention”” #mediablackout #huffpostlive #cnn #abc #nbc

Voting should be a critical part of democracy, however, the current two-party system does not allow the population to express its true intentions for the future of this country. The system props up politicians from the Republican and Democratic parties who are figureheads for an oligarchy becoming ever more entrenched in the global security state industrial-complex, which seeks to maintain American dominance throughout the world.

The true expression of the people comes from those at the grassroots level resisting homeless feeding bans, fighting for a living wage, disrupting war criminals as they speak on stage at community centers for the elite, blocking construction of pipelines that will exponentially increase the disastrous climate change, relentlessly confronting police officers and privileged white Americans for not valuing the lives of black people, and from government officials who risk it all to expose the truth of what their government is doing in our name.

When those people act, I feel something. When the powers that be try to crush them, I feel angry. When the people of this country fail to support them, I feel frustrated.

I feel none of these feelings when the Democratic Party fails miserably. When it fails, these days, I just feel it gets what it deserves. They knew what the Republican Party would do to them and they accepted their fate. But we as a people do not have to be the Democratic Party. We know we are capable of fighting back.

anonymous asked:

Will Flood Wall Street really make any changes to the United States? Or are they a bunch of hippies who don't know which way is up?

Uncivil protesting does very little.  It’s the lazy activist’s way to invoke change or to inform the public.  Just as Occupy Wall Street accomplished nothing but making cheap news headlines, Flood Wall Street is just another form of self-aggrandizement for ignorant people to congregate and bitch to one another.

It's really depressing reading articles written during the Occupy movement

OWS had its fair share of problems, but its message was honestly needed. It was a huge inspiration for me and spurred me to a lot of political growth. Reading these articles is thoroughly depressing because they are so full of hope that OWS is going to change everything, it’s finally making us wake up and is going to make the world a better place for the 99%!!

We woke up, and we were squashed. The police served their purpose. And while the movement has certainly planted seeds, its effects are not as far reaching as anybody hoped. They are buried deep in the psyche of the people, but nowhere near as explosive as it had been or needs to be.

But social media’s use as an incredibly effective tool for social movements as it was during OWS is always fascinating to me. And I think that its importance is often downplayed in mainstream media for fairly obvious reasons.