The Debt Resisters’ Operations Manual
By Strike Debt
Common Notions/PM Press
Over the last thirty years, as wages have stagnated across the country, average household debt has more than doubled. Increasingly, we are forced to take on debt to meet our needs—from housing, to education, to medical care. The results—wrecked lives, devastated communities, and an increasing reliance on credit to maintain our basic living standards—reveal an economic system that enriches the few at the expense of the many.
The Debt Resisters’ Operations Manual is a handbook for debtors everywhere to understand how this system really works, while providing practical tools for fighting debt in its most exploitative forms. Inside, you’ll find detailed strategies, resources, and insider tips for dealing with some of the most common kinds of debt, including credit card debt, medical debt, student debt, and housing debt. The book also contains tactics for navigating the pitfalls of personal bankruptcy, and information to help protect yourself from credit reporting agencies, debt collectors, payday lenders, check cashing outlets, rent-to-own stores, and more.
Written and edited by a network of activists, writers, and academics from Occupy Wall Street, additional chapters cover tax debt, sovereign debt, the relationship between debt and climate, and an expanded vision for a movement of mass debt resistance.
“That debt is neither inevitable nor ethical is one of the powerful assertions of Strike Debt, whose brilliant manual is both a practical handbook and a manifesto for a true debt jubilee: an economic rebirth in which the indebted are freed and financial institutions are reinvented.”—Rebecca Solnit, author of Hope in the Dark
“The impact of the neoliberal assault on the U.S. population in the past generation has rightly been designated a ‘failure by design.’ This failure is sharply class-based—for the designers it has been a grand success, and a failure for most of the rest. The same is true of debt. That sets two tasks for those who care about the health of the society: change the design, and find ways to cope as effectively with the failures it imposes. This valuable monograph by Strike Debt provides a good guide to undertake both.”—Noam Chomsky, co-author of Consequences of Capitalism
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