A Transnational Communication on Debt

A few days ago, I reported on the European action against debt, which is part of the October 13 Global Day of Action. This falls within the Global Week of Action against Debt and IFIs (October 7th to 14th), which will be observed worldwide. This week of action was established in the World Social Forum at Nairobi in 2007, to denounce the injustice of foreign debt on peripheral states and the submission policies imposed by multilateral agencies like the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank.

Strike Debt has consensed a communication with Démocratie Réelle Maintenant (Real Democracy Now!), the group formerly known as the Indignés (Outraged) and spokes from the Spanish 15M movement. The Communication may also be agreed to by other global social movements. It’s a statement of solidarity and joint outlook, not a redefinition of either movement or the O13 day of action.

I think it’s an interesting text so I’m pasting it below:


October 13 against debt

International communication.  

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, 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.

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 net worth households.

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 Spain, and in Portugal, from the 15th of september, enormous demonstrations against debt have gathered more than 1 million of people, and a movement of major scale is growing around the surrounding of the Parliament in Madrid to demand a Constituant process.

We from the Occupy / Real Democracy Now / 15M movement call for public and private debt resistance and refusal. Debt resistance includes: fighting for free public education, free healthcare, defending foreclosed homes, demanding higher wages and providing mutual aid.

In Europe as in Egypt and Tunisia, 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 is stealing what rightfully belongs to the population and payments will continue to be the cause of college and hospital closures, pensions cuts, and so on and on. And the debt feed the debt.

We Don’t Owe, So We Won’t Pay! We Are Not a Loan.  Bad laws allowed all this debt. Let’s rewrite them together.


It seems that O13 will be a major day in Spain, notable in France, and marked by many smaller actions worldwide. If the global social movements can begin to properly co-ordinate, for example via a current proposal that there be global actions on the 22nd of every month, that could be a very interesting development.