Debtors Union and Bank Strike

Momentum is building for an anti-capitalist solution to the financial crisis.

Activists are organizing a Bank Strike inspired by Enric Duran

February is becoming the month of anti-capitalist solutions to the financial crisis. In an earlier post I outlined a plan for a Blackspot Debt Collection Agency that would buy, then forgive, debt. Now others are calling for a Debtors Union and some activists associated with Enric Duran are organizing a Bank Strike. Here is a quick summary of these two big ideas.

A Debtor Union has been proposed by Keith at the Pirate Caucus. Keith writes that "A debtors union is open to all who are indebted—credit cards, car loans, mortgages, student loans, medical bills etc. and once we organize ourselves we can refuse to pay and organize a mass default and force the debt to be written off, or we could decide to renegotiate the debt at a steep discount maybe twenty cents on the dollar. That will be for the union members to decide for themselves. In any event, we can take our destiny into our hands --Let’s 'bailout' ourselves, lets 'recapitalize' ourselves, lets get out of debt!" (full post)

The daring anti-bank Spanish activist Enric Duran who reached international fame by borrowing and then refusing to pay half a million Euro is promoting the idea of a Bank Strike. His organization, Crisis, has already spawned a North American Bank Strike Chapter. Here is how they explain their plan for a Bank Strike:

"We must withdrawal our support for the financial system. Everyday it exploits our debts, our savings, and our paychecks—to fund speculation, predatory lending, environmental destruction, and corporate expansion. This will be an indefinite strike which will not end until people’s debt is cancelled just as Wall Street has been bailed out. It won’t finish until the current international financial system is abolished and alternatives are created that cover people’s needs and not those of speculators."

"If hundreds of thousands of people around the arranged to stop paying their debts—and if they supported one other—they could not be stopped. If there are a many more participating in this call by withdrawing the money from the banks, this system that enslaves us would be stopped."

"What meaning would a delinquencies list have if everybody was registered in it? What strength will the seizure of foreclosed property represent if they its affects millions of people? What will they speculate with if we take all of our money out of the banks? Let’s begin this indefinite strike! Let’s withdrawal our money from the banks and put it in alternatives that don’t speculate with our paychecks! We won’t pay our mortgages and we will stay in our homes; we will not pay personal debt. Let this crisis be paid for by the richest!" (more information)

Buying debt and forgiving it, a debtors union, and a bank strike are just a few of the possible alternatives. What are your ideas for an anti-capitalist escape from this financial crisis?

Micah M. White is a Contributing Editor at Adbusters Magazine and an independent activist.