[Occupy Helena discussion listserve] May 19th, Sunday, 2:00pm, "Strike Debt Helena MT" working group of Occupy Helena, at the Red Atlas on Euclid

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Francis Kromkowski

May 16, 2013, 4:15:30 AM5/16/13
to Occupy Bozeman Discussion List


From: ohdiscuss...@csatlevel4.net [mailto:ohdiscuss...@csatlevel4.net] On Behalf Of JE Siemers
Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 8:13 PM
To: OH
Subject: [Ohdiscuss1] May 19th, Sunday, 2:00pm, "Strike Debt Helena MT" working group of Occupy Helena, at the Red Atlas on Euclid


Collective Action is the Only True Solution


Hi all,   (Please come to join in and share your ideas.)


The Occupy Helena Strike Debt work group has joined with the national Strike Debt organization, http://strikedebt.org/  as the “Strike Debt Helena MT” chapter. 


Our next meeting will be this coming Sunday afternoon, May 19th, 2:00pm, Red Atlas on Euclid, for those who can’t attend Saturdays.


Strike Debt Helena MT


Please visit the new “Strike Debt Helena MT” facebook page:


A series of three workshops on debt issues are in the works:


In August – a housing debt workshop, having stories, discussion, and hands on referrals and help.


In September - a student debt workshop, aimed at parents concerned about their kids debt.  Information on how to get your students into Public Service Loan Forgiveness and more will be available. We will discuss Elizabeth Warren new bill, Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act, concerning interest rate fairness, and how we can lend our support for her first bill.


In October –  a medical debt workshop, which will include a Rolling Jubilee workshop.  The hope is by Oct. national Strike Debt will have made and canceled a nationwide medical debt buy.  Rolling Jubilee: http://rollingjubilee.org/ and  https://www.facebook.com/RollingJubilee


The working group agreed to:   

·        contact venues for the workshops

·        review information on the Rolling Jubilee process

·        contact Legal Services for information regarding bankruptcy self-filing process

·        contact potential workshop panel participants.


Excellent podcast

‘Strike Debt’ and the Global Debt Resistance Movement — Thomas Gokey 


"Thomas Gokey is the vice-president of The Rolling Jubilee Fund, an initiative of Strike Debt, which made headlines last month as a result of its efforts to eliminate 1 million dollars in personal medical debt in the Louisville area. He joins Guy Evans for Episode 65 of the Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast to discuss the formation of the project, its future plans, potential tax and legal issues, the long-term economic effects of abolishing debts, and much more! Check it out, share, and peace!"


 “Tidal:  Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy,” Issue #4, pages 6-7

Debt and/or Wages: Organizing Challenges



“Debt, on the other hand, tends to be individualizing and alienating. Debtors do not necessarily know each other unless they reveal their condition to one another, and they are often too ashamed or guilty to do so. It is therefore necessary, when organizing around debt, to bring the identity of the debtor to the surface and create the collectivity that is continually being repressed and decomposed by the creditor class…


For debt, the model event is the debt Jubilee, i.e., the total cancellation of all debt achieved either by legal change (de jure) or by a total debt strike (de facto)."[Frank Kromkowski]



From: ohdiscuss...@csatlevel4.net [mailto:ohdiscuss...@csatlevel4.net] On Behalf Of Sandy
Sent: Friday, May 10, 2013 9:06 AM
To: Occupy Helena Discussion List
Subject: [Ohdiscuss1] From Sandy Oitzinger and Frank Kromkowski RE: Occupy Helena and Strike Debt Meeting - 9:15 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2012 - Red Atlas



 Strike Debt http://strikedebt.org/ and Occupy Helena, http://www.occupyHelena.org



Greetings OHers,



Occupy  Helena’ s “Strike Debt” Work Group (working on Economic Justice and Resistance to Debt Caused by Wall Street – called “Strike Debt” for short) has met twice (April 27 and May 4)  and will meet again on May 11, 9:15 am -- at  the Red Atlas  (back section of The Staggering Ox on Euclid).  


Please scroll down to the bottom of this message for action taken at the May 4th meeting.


The importance of continuing Occupy Helena’s efforts to reign in corporate greed and combat the blatant buying of elections by monied interests cannot be overstated.  OH has continually reiterated its opposition to Citizen United and has pledged to continue to join forces with  other Occupy  groups in Montana  and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) across the country to stand up to the irresponsible financial hostilities that have been waged against the people by the 1%.  To restate the obvious, these practices and bad corporate acts threatened to tank the global economy, and generations of Montanans and Americans will continue to pay the price for the widespread malfeasance  by Wall Street bankers and financiers acting only for the profit of the 1%.  Occupy Helena and its allies must continue to cure the catastrophic events of 2008 and confront the “thug capitalism” that gave rise to them.


The Helena Strike Debt work group is a logical outgrowth of, and wholly consistent with, OH’s ongoing activities.  The Helena Strike Debt work group will tailor the approaches of the national Strike Debt organization to help Helenans crushed in the grip of debt brought on by the failing policies of greed and money-tainted political and financial systems acting only for the profit of the 1%.


An offshoot of OWS  called “Strike Debt“ is developing initiatives to break the stranglehold of debt in which lenders hold 3 out of 4 Americans.  Strike Debt is working to illuminate the practices that have so appallingly burdened our citizens.  The evolution of this breakdown in the capacity of ordinary citizens to support themselves and work toward family goals  is no surprise in light of the systematic deregulation of banking institutions and the unconscionable changes in bankruptcy law that occurred in 2005 -- see http://www.cepr.net/index.php/testimony/policies-mitigate-foreclosure-crisis/ and http://www.google.com/search?q=2005+bankruptcy+law&sitesearch=cepr.net).


Here are some of the activities for which national Strike Debt advocates:


The Rolling Jubileehttp://rollingjubilee.org/ , https://www.facebook.com/RollingJubilee and http://strikedebt.org/ -- Via what they call a “Rolling Jubilee Project,“ Strike Debt buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it.  Strike Debt cannot buy specific individuals' debt—instead they help liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.  For now there is no statutory or case law requirement that only debt collection agencies can buy receivables in this way but this may change.  Thus the window for using this debt resistance approach may be only temporary.  This is a very transformative process to convert the ghoulish practices of debt collection into a charitable opportunity to help Americans.  The Rolling Jubilee is a “pay it forward approach,” that can only benefit society as a whole.


o   http://www.policymic.com/articles/19085/strike-debt-occupy-wall-street-offshoot-group-gives-a-real-solution-to-the-us-debt-crisis Strike Debt: Occupy Wall Street Offshoot Group Gives a Real Solution to the US Debt Crisis

o   http://www.forbes.com/sites/shenegotiates/2013/02/19/rolling-jubilee-a-bailout-of-the-people-by-the-people/ Rolling Jubilee | A Bailout Of The People By the People



The Debt Resistor’s Operations Manuel—Strike Debt has provided this 132 page education and strategy resource that covers everything from credit scores to predatory lending to bankruptcy policy and ”how-to‘s.”


o   The Manual  is provided at http://strikedebt.org/ under the new initiatives tab



The Occupy Helena Strike Debt working group seeks YOUR help in prioritizing  and carrying out  our local Strike Debt activities.  PLEASE plan on attending our next meeting on Saturday, May 11 at  9:15 am at  the Red Atlas  (back section of The Staggering Ox on Euclid) to advise upon and discuss the work groups next steps.


The OH Strike Debt Work Group members on May 4th:


(1)  … acknowledged that we had received support and official approval from Occupy Helena (OH) for this OH Strike Debt Work Group and for the proposal that  the Work Group should go ahead with the idea of the OH work group becoming a chapter of the Strike Debt organization, http://strikedebt.org/ 


The official approval came by means of a virtual, on-line general assembly meeting of Occupy Helena that was called for on April 30 and concluded May 3.  Several OH participants expressed their strong approval.  In response to one concern that was expressed  -- i.e., the  concern that this new OH Strike Debt working group would supersede and  replace Occupy Helena – the Work Group clarified that this was not the intent of the proposal and that the new Strike Debt work group is now and would be a working group of the on-going Occupy Helena organization.


(2) … committed themselves to continue research and study of some key personal debt an issues – specifically the issues and problems of student debt and housing debt (and possibly medical debt as well, if we can identify some lead researchers).


(3) … pledged to do outreach to other groups in Montana that are also working on economic justice and debt issues and to find ways of coordinating our efforts with the efforts of these other groups (such as  the Montana Organizing Project and other Occupy  groups across Montana)  and maybe even forming a Montana Strike Debt Chapter.


(4)  … committed ourselves to  using the upcoming summer months to study these debt issues in depth so we can, in the fall, do such things as:

a.     Occupy Helena presentations on these issues (student debt, housing debt, medical debt, etc.) to community groups, churches, student groups, people  facing a personal debt crisis or a housing foreclosure crisis or an affordable housing crisis;

b.     Occupy Helena TV shows on these issues on Helena Civic TV;

c.      Occupy Helena organized  “bankruptcy 101” augmenting and coordinating with pro bono services by Montana legal professionals;

d.     A “Debt Assembly” or a series of debt assemblies -- http://occupytheory.org/act/debt-assembly.html -- http://occupywallstreet.net/event/debt-assembly-and-conversation-about-six-ways-being-debt


Thank you for your continuing good work to advance progressive goals in Helena.


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