Tag Archives: rolling jubilee

Rolling Jubilee Abolishes Nearly Four Million Dollars of Student Debt, Launches New Debt Collective

Rolling Jubilee Abolishes Nearly Four Million Dollars of Student Debt, Launches New Debt Collective

[NEW YORK, NY]  On the third anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Rolling Jubilee has, for the first time ever, bought and abolished student debt: $3,856,866.11 of student debt owed by 2,761 people across the United States.

With the aim of building a broad-based debt resistance movement, the Rolling Jubilee relieves debtors by buying debt for pennies on the dollar. The project highlights the injustice of having to go into debt for things that should be publicly provided, like healthcare and education. This is the fourth announcement by the Rolling Jubilee, which has abolished over $15 million of medical bills for thousands of people across the United States since the campaign was launched and went viral in November of 2012.

While medical debt is widely available to debt collectors on secondary markets, most student debt is not, because it is guaranteed by the federal government. The debt purchased by the Rolling Jubilee is private debt from Everest College, which is part of Corinthian Colleges, Inc., a nationwide system of for-profit colleges that receives approximately 90% of its funding from federal student loans. Corinthian has been subject to numerous investigations by state and federal authorities for fraud. The company is on the verge of collapse and the Department of Education is aiding Corinthian in its quest to find a buyer for its over one hundred campuses and online operations. Strike Debt member Luke Herrine explains: “The Department of Education needs to stop acting as a debt collector for a predatory lender, and start discharging the debt of these students. It is fully within its statutory powers to do so.”

“Debt is the tie that binds the 99%, whether you are a student delinquent on your student loans or a parent struggling to pay healthcare bills,” says Strike Debt member Ann Larson. “Being forced into debt for basic social services is a systemic problem and the only solution is to respond collectively to create a new, equitable economy.”

To that end, this announcement also marks the launch of The Debt Collective (debtcollective.org), which will create a platform for organization, advocacy, and resistance by debtors. “Just as the labor movement demands jobs, higher pay, a safe work environment, and time off, The Debt Collective will challenge the 1% creditor class by empowering members to renegotiate, resist, and refuse unfair debts while advocating for real solutions including free education and universal health care,” says Thomas Gokey, a Debt Collective organizer. “Alone, our debts overwhelm us. Together, they make us powerful,” says member Laura Hanna. “We invite everyone to join us at debtcollective.org and become a part of this unprecedented effort to unite debtors. You are not a loan.”

Strike Debt/Rolling Jubilee/Debt Collective organizers are available for interview, as well as current and former Everest students.

For more information visit http://strikedebt.org, http://rollingjubilee.org, and http://debtcollective.org

Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee Has Abolished $13.5 Million in Medical Debt, Owned by 2,693 People, in 45 States & Puerto Rico

Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee Has Abolished $13.5 Million in Medical Debt, Owned by 2,693 People, in 45 States & Puerto Rico

[NEW YORK, NY]  Strike Debt, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, announced this morning that since the launch of the group’s Rolling Jubilee effort one year ago, it has abolished $13.5 million worth of medical debt owed by 2,693 people across 45 states and in Puerto Rico. This is the third announcement by Strike Debt in the last year which to date has abolished over $14.7 million dollars of medical bills through its Rolling Jubilee project.

The Rolling Jubilee campaign relieves debtors (by buying debt for pennies on the dollar) while building a debt resistance movement. This project highlights the injustice of having to go into debt for basic needs that should be publicly provided, like education and healthcare. “We have been honored to facilitate this effort but understand Rolling Jubilee is a spark, not a solution” said Andrew Ross, a fellow Strike Debt organizer. “Being forced into debt for basic social services is a systemic problem that will require a collective response.”“No one should have to go into debt or bankruptcy because they get sick,” said Laura Hanna, an organizer with Strike Debt, noting that 62% of all personal bankruptcies have medical debt as a contributing factor.

“Debt is the tie that binds the 99 percent,” says Strike Debt member Ann Larson. “Whether you are a student who is delinquent on your student loans, a parent struggling to pay healthcare bills, or living in a community that is cutting vital social services because your city is bankrupt, debt affects everyone.”

Strike Debt chapters in New York, the Bay Area, Austin, Portland and elsewhere are planning celebrations and debtors’ assemblies on Nov 15th.

Strike Debt is working towards building a new kind of collective power in order to challenge exploitation by the financial industry. “Debt is the way we cooperate with Wall Street,” said Thomas Gokey an organizer with Strike Debt, “With the Rolling Jubilee, we’ve demonstrated how little your debts are actually worth. Now that you know this, it’s time to use it as leverage. It’s time to fight back. The Rolling Jubilee needs to roll into larger forms of resistance and outright non-cooperation with Wall Street’s unjust debts.” Looking forward, Strike Debt is laying the groundwork for a debtors’ union capable of collective debt refusal.

Strike Debt/Rolling Jubilee organizers are available for interview. To request an interview please contact Andy Stepanian at andy@sparrowmedia.net or 631.291.3010.

For more information on Strike Debt and the Rolling Jubilee, visit strikedebt.org and rollingjubilee.org

Strike Debt Announces #LifeorDebt Week of Action with Purchase & Abolition of $1.1 Million Dollars of Medical Debt

Strike Debt Announces #LifeorDebt Week of Action with Purchase & Abolition of $1.1 Million Dollars of Medical Debt

[NEW YORK, NY]  Actions in multiple cities are planned to mark the abolition of 1.1 million dollars of medical debt belonging to 1,064 people by the Rolling Jubilee. This is the second of a series of major purchases by the group, which abolished over $100,000 of debt before the holidays.


March 16-23 Week of Action Highlights that our Nation’s Healthcare Emergencies are a Matter of #LifeorDebt

The Rolling Jubilee is a campaign that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. The Rolling Jubilee launched in November 2012 and went viral, raising almost $600,000 and garnering attention in major media news outlets.

Doctors, nurses, patients, and citizens are coming together to declare a medical emergency:

• Our privatized healthcare system buries ordinary people in debt all to enrich the 1%.

• 62% of personal bankruptcies are linked to medical bills. ¾ of people who declare bankruptcy due to medical bills had health insurance when they incurred those bills.

• 86% of doctors begin their professional lives with medical school debt, a financial burden that pushes them away from serving those who need their help most.

• Community hospitals deemed “unprofitable” are being closed left and right because they have fallen too deeply into debt.

Events will take place other cities. See http://strikedebt.org/#get-involved for updates.

A full update on the campaign is available here: http://strikedebt.org/rjupdate-2/

In New York City there will be two events, on March 21st & March 23rd

March 21st:
Meet at Bryant Park at 4pm,
41 West 40th Street

March 23rd:
Education, legal advice, primary care, referrals & more

9:30am – 1:30pm
Legal Advice & Healthcare
Judson Church,
55 Washington Square South

Online: On March 23rd we will have practitioners on call to answer medical questions live on the internet all day! http://strikedebt.org/lifeordebt/

2pm – 5pm
Meet: Washington Square South

Hosts: Strike Debt, Healthcare for 99%, Physicians for a National Health Program, Occupy Town Square, and others.

5:30pm – 7pm
Judson Church

Strike Debt emerged out of Occupy Wall Street and is dedicated to raising public awareness about predatory debt practices, debt resistance and mutual aid. Initiatives include publishing The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual, supporting the Occupy Student Debt Campaign, and The Rolling Jubilee, www.strikedebt.org and www.rollingjubilee.org

To schedule an interview with the StrikeDebt organizers, please contact Andy Stepanian at andy@sparrowmedia.net or 631.291.3010.  To view a roundup of media coverage of Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee visit our case study HERE.

The Jubilee is Rolling! Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee Is Going Viral With Your Help
strike debt

The Jubilee is Rolling! Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee Is Going Viral With Your Help

[New York, NY] The Sparrow Project is honored to partner with Strike Debt to pitch their Rolling Jubilee story to the media.  In this Rolling Jubilee we are starting to see something transformative develop.  Make no mistake about it this is a huge story, not because of savvy media direction, but because of the moral foundation on which the Strike Debt organizers built the Rolling Jubilee.  Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee has received favorable coverage in the pages of the New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, and other mainstream media outlets.  A complete roundup of media coverage will be posted HERE shortly.


Today’s the day. Invite your friends and invite the world: spread the word via Twitter and Facebook.  We have already abolished over $100,000 in medical debt. Help us abolish millions more.  Join us via live stream at RollingJubilee.org at 8PM EST!

Help us make the People’s Bailout telethon a truly historic event by joining our People’s Mic by getting the word out via social media.


Tweet, post and share all day – use our tools at RollingJubilee.org to tweet at key social media influencers who will help amplify our message.

Watch with your friends. Livestream parties are happening around the country. Here are some tips on throwing a successful live stream party.

Be online during the show. Your online conversations are going to be a key part of the LIVE show.

Our movement has seen an incredible outpouring of support in just a few days. The conversation has begun, affiliates are springing up from coast to coast: Chicago, Detroit, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Oakland, and more. Now it’s time to take the big step and turn that support into action. Invite your friends, and tell the world.


We are happy to announce that our first large purchase of debt has already gone through. We have the paperwork in hand. For $5,000, we cancelled just over $100,000 of medical debt. We have taken a little piece of humanity back from the hands of the creditors. Within weeks these debtors will be receiving a certified letter informing them that their debts have been abolished.

This is just the first step. Tonight a bailout of the people by the people begins. It begins with you.

The People’s Bailout: A Variety Show & Telethon to Benefit the 99%

The People’s Bailout: A Variety Show & Telethon to Benefit the 99%

[New York, NY] Join Strike Debt for an updated version of an old classic, the telethon, to launch The Rolling Jubilee, a campaign that buys debt for pennies on the dollar and then does away with it. Instead of collecting the debt, we will abolish it and help free the debtors!  You can buy tickets to this historic event HERE or watch the livestream on November 15, 2012 HERE.

A bailout of the people by the people. We buy debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, we abolish it. We cannot buy specific individuals’ debt – instead, we help liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.” say’s Strike Debt on their website describing their refreshingly empowering, and potentially viral, new pay-it-forward effort to abolish debt appropriately named the “Rolling Jubilee

Strike Debt’s communique continues…

“It’s finally time to tell you about our exciting new project, “The Rolling Jubilee.” The basic premise is simple: people shouldn’t have to go into debt for an education, because they need medical care, or because they have to put food on the table during hard times.

No politician is going to fix this…

The Rolling Jubilee is a bailout of the people by the people – we buy defaulted debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, we abolish it. For once the math is on our side: a $25 abolishes approximately $500 of debt. The more money we raise, the more debt we can abolish. Donations can be made online at rollingjubilee.org beginning around November 15.

This campaign will launch on November 15th with THE PEOPLE’S BAILOUT, a telethon and variety show at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. There will be music, comedy, education, magic and more. Confirmed guests include: comedian Janeane Garofalo, Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead, actor/director John Cameron Mitchell (‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’), comedian Hari Kondabolu, David Rees (‘Get Your War On’), Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, and more. (a high resolution poster for the event is available HERE or by double-clicking the image above)


Tickets for the show went on sale on Friday, you can purchase yours at http://www.lepoissonrouge.com/lpr_events/peoples-bailout/ but act fast because we expect that this event will quickly sell out!


We’re hoping you can help us spread the message via social media. Let’s get the word out far and wide. Here’s how…

1) Forward this message to friends and family.

2) Please like our Facebook page & share the Facebook Event Page.

3) Follow @StrikeDebt on twitter.

4) Post and tweet using the hashtags #PeoplesBailout and #RollingJubilee, and refer to our website (www.rollingjubilee.org) and twitter handle (@StrikeDebt). Some sample posts can be found HERE.

5) Donate your Twitter or Facebook account for one daily re-post or re-tweet by visiting http://donateyouraccount.com/StrikeDebt and donating your account, this is a safe and easy way to help us keep spreading the message.


On November 15th, we’re organizing a big coordinated push to promote the #PeoplesBailout on social media.  Sign up for email updates at rollingjubilee.org then watch your inbox and invite your friends to sign up as well!”