New from Strike Debt/OWS: "The Rolling Jubilee" Intitiative

For those of you not on the OWS/Strike Debt email list...

It’s finally time to talk about an exciting new initiative from Strike Debt, called “The Rolling Jubilee”.  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.  

We're writing to ask the national Occupy network for help to spread the word about it's launch.  Using social media, we hope to harness the collective voice of Occupies against the predatory debt industry, in the same way that the StopKony campaign marshaled southern churches against an African warlord.  


Here's are the details.

Our launch will be on November 15th, with a "telethon" called THE PEOPLE'S BAILOUT.  There will be roughly three hours of music, comedy, education, magic. Confirmed guests include: comedian Janeane Garofalo, Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead, actor/director John Cameron Mitchell, Hari Kondabolu, David Rees, Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, and more.  The telethon will be at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City and will be streamed live at  Tickets will go on sale on November 2nd at 10am.

Our goal is to raise $50,000, which will allow us to abolish more than $1,000,000 dollars worth of medical debt. 100% of the funds go to buying debt. If we raise more, we’ll buy more debt. Donations can be made online at

We're hoping you can help us spread the word about our launch via social media.  We can't afford billboards or TV ads (especially during election season!) but we can harness our global people power network to spread the word about the Rolling Jubilee.  Let’s get the message out far and wide.  Here’s how:


The most important thing right now is to help us build the network for our big push days.  There are a few simple things you can do, that will take just a few minutes:


1. Forward this message to your friends and family.


2. Like our Facebook page: and share the event page:


3. Follow @StrikeDebt on Twitter.


4. Post and tweet using the hashtags #PeoplesBailout and #RollingJubilee, referring to our website ( and twitter handle (@StrikeDebt).  

Some sample posts can be found here:

Feel free to copy-and-paste those, or make your own!


5. Donate your Twitter or Facebook account for one daily re-post or re-tweet:  This is a safe and easy way to help us keep spreading the message.


We’re going to try two big coordinated social media pushes to promote #PeoplesBailout: one when our donation site opens, and the other on the day of the telethon itself.  In order to maximize the impact of a sudden spike in social media buzz, we won’t announce the details of the campaign content until the day before the push.  WE NEED YOU TO MAKE THIS WORK.  To get the latest on our campaigns, sign up for our announcement list, or follow @StrikeDebt on Twitter. Or just reply to this email and let me know you can help out with the big push, and I’ll put you on my private list.


Invite your friends over to watch the telethon on the HQ stream. Direct everyone to send donations via the website:  If you’d like tips about how to do this effectively, email for more information, or get on our weekly InterOccupy conference call, Thursdays at 8:30pm.

Please forward this request to all of your friends and family you think would be interested.

We're happy to answer any questions you have about the Rolling Jubilee. Just email

Three out of four Americans are in debt, many of whom are in default or nearing it.  One in seven are already being pursued by debt collectors.  People shouldn’t have to be forever haunted by debt that they accrued for an education, because they needed medical care, or because they had to put food on the table during hard times.  No politician is going to fix this. Millions of people will be excited to hear that something is finally being done.  


Thanks for your help!

~ Strike Debt / Rolling Jubilee

PS - To head off one common question, we cannot buy specific individual's debt - instead, we help liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.  As a trial run, we spent $466 and successfully bought and abolished $14,000 of medical debt.  

Here are some articles about Strike Debt and The People’s Bailout:


Views: 2163

Comment by Ben Roberts on November 1, 2012 at 5:31pm

Shikha: Not sure about deleting comments.  As an admin on this site, I do have that capacity, although I don't use it except on my own posts occasionally, when I want to rewrite them. Which comment(s) would you like me to delete?

As far as the Rolling Jubilee, I don't have details and was simply passing on the info.  We might do a conversation on this in coming weeks though.  I do know from my work in finance that debts are often written down to pennies on the dollar when the market determines that a default is likely, so the idea that companies holding debt might be willing to sell it off for far less than the original amount that was borrowed is not at all surprising. In fact, I believe companies often sell debt to debt collectors in this way, settling for some cash in hand and passing on the challenge of collection to others (who are often not particularly respectful in their collection procedures, to put it mildly)..

Comment by Shikha on November 2, 2012 at 2:41pm

Thanks, Ben. It works now.


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