Strike Debt!

Principles of Solidarity

Adopted by consensus of the Strike Debt NYC general meeting of January 6, 2013

Strike Debt is building a debt resistance movement. We believe that most individual debt is illegitimate and unjust. Most of us fall into debt because we are increasingly deprived of the means to acquire the basic necessities of life: education, health care, and housing. Because we are forced to go into debt simply in order to live, we think it is right and moral to resist it.

We also oppose debt because it is an instrument of exploitation and political domination. Debt is used to discipline us, deepen existing inequalities, and reinforce gendered, racial,and other social hierarchies. Every Strike Debt action is designed to weaken the institutions that seek to divide us and benefit from our division. As an alternative to this predatory system, Strike Debt advocates a just and sustainable economy, based on common goods, mutual aid, and public affluence.

Strike Debt is an offshoot of the Occupy movement. It respects many of the principles that were adopted by Occupy participants from other non-hierarchical movements. These include: political autonomy; direct democracy; direct action; a culture of solidarity, creative openness, and commitment to anti-oppressive conduct and language. We struggle for a world without ableism, homophobia, racism, sexism, transphobia, and all forms of oppression.

Strike Debt holds that we are all debtors, whether or not we have personal loan agreements. Through the manipulation of sovereign and municipal debt, the costs of speculator-driven crises are passed on to all of us. Though different kinds of debt can affect the same household, they are all interconnected, and so all household debtors have a common interest in resisting.

Strike Debt engages in public education about the debt-system to counteract the self-serving myth that finance is too complicated for laypersons to understand. In particular, it urges direct action as a way of stopping the damage caused by the creditor class and their enablers among elected government officials. Direct action empowers those who participate in challenging the debt-system.

Strike Debt holds that we owe the financial institutions nothing, whereas, to our communities, families, and friends we owe everything. In pursuing a long-term strategy for national organizing around this principle, we pledge international solidarity with the growing global movement against debt and austerity.