Occupy's Trigger Moment

Strike Debt's Rolling Jubilee is a tactical mindbomb.

KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/Rex Features

With the election behind us, Occupy is emerging as an energized fighting force with new tactics and a renewed revolutionary potential. Spain's indignados are refocusing their rage against the banks by “jamming cash machines with glue and coins,” reports Reuters, in a tactical shift toward direct disruption of the flows of capital. Occupy Sandy is demonstrating the power of horizontal, people-to-people organizing with a relief operation that is feeding and caring for thousands in New York. And then there is perhaps the biggest tactical mindbomb of all: an audacious culture jam, originally conceived by Adbusters in 2009, to buy and abolish debt.

Tomorrow, Strike Debt, a maverick affinity group of Zuccottis, is kicking off the Rolling Jubilee . . . a project that “buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it.” The ultimate goal is to “liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.” The plan has attracted sizable media attention from CNN, the NY Times, Salon and more. Writing for the Guardian, Charles Eisenstein explains its “transformative potential”:

Two pillars uphold the present debt regime: the moral legitimacy of debt in society's eyes, ie, the idea that a person 'should' pay back what he owes; and the coercive mechanisms that enforce repayment, such as harassment, seizure of assets, garnishment of wages, denial of employment or housing, and even imprisonment. The Rolling Jubilee erodes both. It destigmatises debt by saying, ‘we're all in this together, we believe your situation is unfair, not shameful, so we're going to help you out’.

The Rolling Jubilee has already raised enough money to abolish over $3.2 million in debt . . . raising the tantalizing possibility that Occupy's biggest trigger moment – the spark of a widespread refusal against the financialization of life – is still to come.

November 15, watch the live jubilee telethon at

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26 comments on the article “Occupy's Trigger Moment”

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bankruptcy is the normal path by which someone is released from their debt

however there are rules for that so it's a no-go for adbusters

smash the state, free everything, perfect harmony with no cops, guaranteed sparkle ponies for all

no name

and i would like to add that there are those of us who are in debt, and can't afford to file for bankruptcy. what money for the poor? we are the poor. i think debt abolition is a dandy idea whos time has come.


Why so much advertisements on suddenly? Subscribe now ; Get the book; Cart; Tools for Activists; Join us. They are not corporate ads, but still these big banners on the sides are visually disturbing. I know where to buy this stuff, I do know it is available, I don´t think these ads will increase your sales, but rather make you lose credibility and, progressively, desengage your readership. Adbusters is a mental oasis in the monstruosly polluted infoworld, so I´m begging you this: please, for god´s shake... keep mental environment clean.


P.S: While looking Adblockers, I found "Adbusters". An now it seems that they are to have REAL adverts. The same thing happened with RT - is there no escape?


Read "The Shock Doctrine" from Naomi Klein to understand what´s going on. Graeber´s reference is a good one too. Also, "First as tragedy, then as farce", to understand today´s dilemma between revolution and fascism


Also worth viewing is "The Shock Doctrine Naomi Klein and Alfonso Cuaron" on YouTube.

Warning: while short, this film IS powerful!


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