This operations manual—written by an anonymous collec- tive of resistors, defaulters and allies from Strike Debt and Occupy Wall Street—is for all those being crushed under the weight of debt. It aims to provide specific tactics for understanding and fighting against the debt system so that we can all reclaim our lives and our communities. It con- tains practical information, resources and insider tips for individuals dealing with the dilemma of indebtedness in the United States today and also introduces ideas for those who have made the decision to take collective action.
The system of mafia capitalism has made it difficult, if not impossible, for us to meet our basic needs, whether we have debt or not, whether we pay it back or not. We recognize that it is not easy to fight this system, that it is not easy to withdraw consent from a financial world gone mad. Make no mistake: the odds are stacked against us. Laws surrounding debt lending, collection and buying are notably complex, designed to keep debtors confused and afraid. This manual is not designed to provide legal coun- sel; it is a political act of mutual aid. We are not lawyers; you may want to consult one before doing anything that you think might be illegal. Look seriously into any of the options we present before taking action. Be smart.
As with any operations manual, this is a living doc- ument. We don’t claim to have all or even most of the answers regarding debt. To produce this manual, we have reached out to our networks to the best of our ability. Some sections barely scratch the surface and in fact de- serve their own book-length treatment. Researching debt has uncovered many connections we didn’t expect, and we know there are types of debt we haven’t addressed. It is our hope that readers will have their own strategies to con- tribute to future versions of this manual. The contributors envision this first edition not simply as a document that wehave made for you, but rather as the beginning of a project that we will all build together—a collectively written manual for collective action. An online version will be updated frequently and available at strikedebt.org. Any ideas, plans, tips, corrections, resources, schemes—legal or otherwise—should be sent to DROM@riseup.net; anonymity is the norm by which we operate.
Because there is so much shame, frustration and fear surrounding our debt, we seldom talk about it openly with others. An initial step in building a debt resistance movement involves sharing the myriad ways debt affects us, both directly and indirectly. You are encouraged to share your experience at Debt Stories, occupiedstories.com/strikedebt. Remember, you are not a loan!
PRODUCED AS A COLLABORATION BETWEEN
Members of the Strike Debt assembly / strikedebt.org
Occupy Wall Street / occupywallstreet.org
Common Notions / commonnotions.org
Antumbra Design / antumbradesign.org
Read the full manual here