The debtors’ revolt has begun.
Last week, former students of Corinthian Colleges have declared a debt strike by refusing to pay their federal loans.
These former students — who call themselves the Corinthian 15 — are the first to take such a bold stand against the current student debt crisis.
The Corinthian 15 — all former students of Corinthian’s Everest College — have declared that they cannot and will not repay their loans, and so they demand that the Department of Education cancel their debts. These students live in different parts of the country, attended school at different times, and earned degrees in different programs. They are united in their insistence that Corinthian defrauded them and that the Department of Education should discharge their debts and the debts of all other Corinthian students, both current and former.
The Corinthian 15 can serve as an example not just to other Corinthian graduates, but also to student debtors everywhere. The difference between the practices and finances of Corinthian and, say, NYU is simply a matter of degree.
Hundreds of new students have expressed interest in joining the strike, so the momentum is building. But we need resources to pay for travel to bring the strikers to events across the country -- be that meetings in D.C. to tell their stories to policymakers, or to events to do further organizing. Want to help make it happen? Support the Strike Fund.
A letter of support for the Corinthian 15, signed by Molly Crabapple, Naomi Klein, Slavoj Žižek, Rebecca Solnit, Bill McKibben, Barbara Ehrenreich, Robin Kelley, and many others, has also been made public.
The letter says it well:
“By declaring a strike, they are taking a stand for all student debtors, by reminding us that for-profits schools are just an extreme version of our increasingly untenable system of debt-financed higher education. By declaring a strike, the Corinthian 15 are asking why the U.S. lags so far behind other industrialized societies in denying its citizenry the right to free college enrollment.”
This public strike by the Corinthian 15 marks the beginning of a new era of debtor solidarity and collective disobedience in the face of creditors’ immoral behavior and impossible demands. It also marks the public launch of the Debt Collective, a way for debtors to organize to form a new kind of power by turning their bonds into leverage.
Find out more how to get involved by going to http://thedebtcollective.org.