Occupy Wall Street has been back in the news over the last couple of weeks, primarily because of their outstanding efforts dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast and now in Haiti, with Occupy Haiti. But another way they're making headlines is with a new initiative called the Rolling Jubilee, an action that aims to buy distressed debt, like medical bills and student loans, in order to forgive it. Their team has consulted the IRS, attorneys and "moles in the debt-brokerage world" to find the best way to buy debt in communities that have been struggling during the recession. The idea is that these efforts will free people of their financial burdens.
They've done a test run, spending $500 which ended up buying $14,000 in distressed debt, essentially erasing what was owed. In order to maximize their efforts they're planning a telethon and variety show to benefit the 99% with heavy hitters like Janeane Garofalo, The Yes Men, Neutral Milk Hotel, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio and others taking the stage New York's Le Poisson Rouge on November 15.
The video below outlines the idea more clearly, and their website states:
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. Our goal for the launch is to raise $50,000, which will likely allow us to abolish more than $1,000,000 dollars worth of personal debt. The more money we raise, the more debt we can abolish. Donations can be made online at rollingjubilee.org beginning around November 15. with 100% of the ticket sales going "to abolish debt."