To the financial institutions of the world, we have only one thing to say: we owe you NOTHING!
To our friends, families, our communities, to humanity and to the natural world that makes our lives possible, we owe you everything.
To the people of the world, we say: join the resistance, you have nothing to lose but your debts.
On O13, in the context of the worlwide “globalnoise” mobilisation, and within the Global Week of Action against Debt, we will mobilise against debt in several cities of the world: Barcelona, Madrid, Mexico, Paris, New York…
The state response to the financial and economic crisis is the same everywhere: cuts in expenditure and austerity measures under the pretext of reducing deficits and the repayment of a public debt which is the direct outcome of decades of neoliberal policies. The same neoliberal policies that have plundered economic and natural resources and exploited human lifes in Latin America, Asia and Africa for decades, are now also being imposed on the people of Europe and North America.
Governments in the service of finance are using this pretext to further reduce social spending, lower wages and pensions, privatize public utility and goods, dismantle social benefits and deregulate labour laws, and increase taxes on the majority, while social and tax giveaways are generalized for the big companies and the highest income households, the rich, the 1%.
The campaign to subdue the world to public and private debt is a calculated attack on the very possibility of democracy. It is an assault on our homes, our families, our social services and benefits, our communities and on the planet’s fragile eco-systems—all of which are being destroyed by endless production to pay back creditors, who have done nothing to hog the wealth they demand we make for them.
Faced with such coordinated attacks on our social gains, resistance is getting organized around the world, there are national general strikes and the ‘indignados’ movements are increasingly active. In Iceland, the people refused to pay the Icesave debt to the UK and the Netherlands. In Ecuador the people pushed the government into a Debt Audit that saved the country millions of dollars in debt payments. In Argentina, Brasil, Bolivia, Zimbabwe, Mali, Burkina Faso, Indonesia or the Philipines, among many other countries, people have been resisting and opposing debt for decades. In Spain, and in Portugal, from the 15th of September, enormous demonstrations against debt have gathered more than 1 million people, and a movement of major scale is growing around the surrounding of the Parliament in Madrid to demand a Constituent process.
We from the Occupy / Real Democracy Now / 15M / AntiDebt movement call for public and private debt resistance and refusal/repudiation. Debt resistance includes: fighting for free public education, free healthcare, defending foreclosed homes, demanding higher wages and providing mutual aid. But also a first step toward building a new economy, based on the principles of equality, solidarity and cooperation, and not greed, accumulation and competition.
In Europe as in Egypt and Tunisia, learning from our colleagues in Latin America, South Saharan Africa and Asia, initiatives for a citizens’ audit of public debt analyze how much of the public debt is illegitimate, odious or unsustainable, and must therefore be cancelled. Paying such creditors means stealing what rightfully belongs to the population and payments will continue to be the cause of college and hospital closures, wage cuts, pension cuts, and so on and on. And the debt feeds the debt.
We Don’t Owe, So We Won’t Pay! Were Are Not a Loan. Bad laws allowed all this debt. Let’s rewrite them together.