Rolling Jubilee Aims to Buy and Forgive Debt

Occupy Wall Street’s movement tackles widespread consumer debt.

Erasing debt on notepad.
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Timothy F. Kearney, assistant professor and chair of the department of business at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa., says, "I doubt that the Strike Debt movement will make a dent that would matter in actual debt levels, as just mortgage debt and consumer credit alone total about $13 trillion."

However, Kearney adds, "Where this movement could have an impact is in opening a conversation," adding that the topic was absent during this year's political season. "It's important that groups like this are trying to start the conversation."

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That's what Strike Debt organizers hope will happen. "The Rolling Jubilee is just one tactic of Strike Debt," says Casuccio. "We are hoping to create a movement to fight against debt and open up some alternatives." In addition to the Rolling Jubilee, Strike Debt has sponsored lectures on debt around New York City and offers resources for organizers in other cities to start their own chapter.

As Larson points out: "This is not a solution. We like to say it's a spark, not the revolution."

Corrected on 12/03/2012: Due to a quote transcription error, this article has been updated to reflect that Ann Larson does not believe medical debt should exist at all.