My name is Liam Gude, I’m a graduate from UMass Amherst and the Labor Center. I am a debt striker.
After giving it some thought, I realized that Western Mass is in a powerful position if locally organized. The main employer in the area is a university, there are 5 or more other important and connected colleges and universities around it. A huge proportion of people in the area have at least a bachelors, and many communities consist of students and professors. If even just a small portion of student debtors in the area organized, it could send a strong signal and bring in a lot of supporters and new debtors. There are also strong and progressive unions (the MSP) which would support us.
Currently, everyone is more socially engaged than ever because of the huge local mutual aid network we created to cope with covid19. And, the virus has pushed the debt forgiveness narrative further in our favor within the halls of elected officialdom.
I’m forming a local chapter here in Western Mass for the above reasons. I think local chapters are the place where those who aren’t already militant can become politicized and willing to take such as risk as striking, as well as the eduction of what a strike entails.
Please let me know your thoughts, your advice, and, for those in Western Mass, please reach out and lets chat.