After two assemblies were held over the course of two weeks outside the Student Center on Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus, giving people space to share stories regarding debt and how it has impacted their lives, participants decided to have a “March Against Debt” and “Mobile Assembly” on Friday, April 25.
Following some initial analysis in pithy speech form that Friday afternoon — and a few performative theatrics — people proceeded to march. They chanted, “Ho, ho. Hey, hey. We don’t owe. We won’t pay,” “Bring out your debt! We’re not dead yet!” “Corporate power – that shit’s sour,” and simply “Strike Debt!” as they made their way through SIU’s Faner Hall and later the Communications Building.
As folks gathered around at Morris Library, an activist defined and denounced “creditocracy,” rule by the creditor class, and called for collective debt resistance, following the lead of the Strike Debt movement, an Occupy Wall Street offshoot. Publicly assailing the extant “fantasy world of the rich and powerful, a finance capitalists’ wet dream,” like a flier from the previous assembly put it, the march reached its counter-hegemonic climax as participants moved through the Student Center. It ended with an assembly where the indebted and indignant reclaimed space again on campus for conscientization and continued mobilization.