You are Not a Loan: A Debtors Movement


  • Andrew Ross Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University, USA



Populism, Occupy Wall Street, financial crisis, movement activism, student debt, financialization


Written from the participant perspective of the author, the article documents the debt resistance movement that is one of the enduring offshoots of Occupy Wall Street. Addressing the household debt crisis in the wake of the financial crash, it focuses in particular on student debt, approaching an aggregate 1.2 trillion in the U.S., with defaulters numbering in the tens of millions. The emergence of The Occupy Student Debt Campaign is analyzed, along with the initiatives of its successor, Strike Debt, including the Rolling Jubilee and the Debt Resistors Opera-tions Manual. The article concludes by arguing that debt will be the frontline of anticapitalist struggles in the 21st century, just as the struggle over wages dominated the twentieth century.


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Theme: Capitalism: Current Crisis and Cultural Critique