December 11, 2012

Compassionate Gift Giving Ideas: Rolling Jubilee

Alex Caring-Lobel

One way to give compassionately and intelligently this holiday season is to widen the net of those who receive the benefit of your generosity. Every Tuesday here on Tricycle's Buddhist Holiday Survival Guide, we'll be posting about organizations that could use your help this holiday season.

Rolling Jubilee: The People's Bailout

“To the financial establishment of the world, we have only one thing to say: We owe you nothing. To our friends, our families, our communities, to humanity and to the natural world that makes our lives possible, we owe you everything. Every dollar we take from a subprime mortgage speculator, every dollar we withhold from the collection agency is a tiny piece of our own lives and freedom that we can give back to our communities, to those we love and we respect.” —The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual

Strike Debt is an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement that combines Occupy Theory with radical political goals. Strike Debt demands debt abolition, free universal healthcare and education, and offers support and practical assistance to debtors.

Rolling Jubilee, Strike Debt's latest project, is currently raising funds to buy debt for pennies on the dollar, usually sold to debt collection agencies on the secondary market. Once the debt is purchased, instead of collecting it, Strike Debt will declare all debts forgiven. It is, in effect, "the people's bailout."

Through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and your generosity, the Rolling Jubilee aims to liberate debtors at random. By buying debt through legal means from within the predatory debt economy, creative financial fiddling will be democratized. Strike Debt adopts a humanistic approach to understanding debt, reclaiming the conversation about debt from the right, where it is generally used to justify austerity.

Rolling Jubilee has so far raised $472,000, which will abolish roughly $9,444,800 of citizens' debt. 100% of the money raised will go to the process of buying and abolishing debt. A $10 donation will liberate a struggling American from a $200 burden. Donate here.


Key image: Elizabeth Brossa/Flickr
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