Demonstrations and creative protests are set for campuses and communities around the country on April 25th to mark One Trillion Dollar Day (1TDay), the day U.S. student debt reaches $1Trillion. These coordinated actions will draw attention to Wall Street’s predatory student loan market, as well as the corrupt lending practices at educational institutions. 1TDay will spotlight the long-term financial and social effects of students and families with insurmountable student debt.
Solidarity actions are planned for at least a dozen cities, from Sallie Mae National Headquarters in Newark, Delaware and all of its regional offices. Demonstrators will engage in coordinated non-violent civil disobedience. Some actions include burning loan cards. Actions in NYC with Occupy Wall Street and a coalition of student and community groups, will include mock celebrations with Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir, the Plus Brigades and Billionaires for Debt.
IN NYC: April 25th at 4pm in Union Square, south steps
NATIONWIDE: For the list of cities and campuses rallying, visit 1tday.org
Follow on Twitter @1Tday and #1TDay
"I'm the first person in my family to go to college,” said Annie Spencer, a doctoral student at City University in New York (CUNY), and activist with the Occupy Student Debt Campaign. “I'm now $80,000 in debt and don't see a day when I won't struggle to make ends meet. Those of us who took on this trillion dollar debt were sold the promise of a better life in exchange for carrying the burden, but the deck was stacked against us from the start."
Student Debt Redux:
• Student loan debt, now outpacing all forms of consumer debt, is repackaged and sold as asset-backed securities similar to mortgages;
• Both federally insured and private student loans are traded on global debt markets as for-profit financial instruments. Many observers believe a bubble effect similar to the housing crisis of 2007 is looming in the student loan industry;
• Graduates of the class of 2010 had, on average, $25,250 of student debt while tuition rises at an annual rate of 5%, outpacing cost of living. While federal and state governments have cut funding for higher education, an increasing number students are forced to take on private loans to fund their education.
“Trillion Dollar day is a reminder that private banks are still very much in the predatory lending business; this time it’s students not homeowners,” added Professor Andrew Ross, another organizer with the Occupy Student Debt 1TDay campaign.
One Trillion Dollar Day is organized by the Occupy Student Debt Campaign (1tday.org) which is a coalition of Occupy groups creating community empowerment on the issue of student debt and predatory lending practices. The April 25th action was inspired by the campaign's guiding principles which call for tuition-free education, pre-K through Ph.D. should be tuition free to students.