Tuesday Nov 22, 201110:59 AM GMT
'Occupy Student Debt' emerges in US
Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:1AM
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A number of student organizers in the US have unveiled what they call an 'Occupy Student Debt' campaign, urging borrowers across the country to default on their college loans.


The campaign was made public Monday afternoon in New York's Zuccotti Park, where the national Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement emerged, the Huffington Post reported.

“Since the first days of the Occupy movement, the agony of student debt has been a constant refrain,” said Andrew Ross, a professor at New York University and an active OWS member, while addressing a crowd in the park

“We've heard the harrowing personal testimony about the suffering and humiliation of people who believe their debts will be unplayable in their lifetime,” Ross said.

Meanwhile, the campaigns “beliefs” or objectives were announced during the rally.

The student movement has four major objectives, apart from convincing all students to default on their loans, a move for which they have collected one million signatures in a petition.

They want student loans to be interest-free, tuitions at public institutions to be federally funded, students' debt to be written off and financial records of for-profit and private institutions to be made public.

“I see my students who have to work not only one but two jobs just to afford our relatively reasonable tuition rates,” said Ashley Dawson, an associate professor at the City University of New York.

“For students faced with debt, this campaign is important because it will help provide them with a collective organizing vehicle,” Dawson said.

The campaign emerged as an offshoot of the OWS, which has now spread across major US cities as well as many capitalist countries in the world.

Members of the OWS movement have for the past two months been protesting against corporate greed, unemployment, corruption and poverty in the United States.

PM/MB/HJL
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