PORTLAND, Maine — The OccupyMaine group is holding a demonstration in Portland as part of the Occupy movement’s national day of protest against the growing student loan debt.

Occupy Wall Street says protests are being held on campuses and in communities nationwide Wednesday to mark what it’s calling One Trillion Dollar Day, or 1TDay, the day U.S. student debt reaches $1 trillion.

Organizers are hoping to draw attention to what they call “Wall Street’s predatory student loan market” and the financial and social effects of having unsustainable debt loads.

OccupyMaine is marking the occasion with a demonstration at Portland’s Monument Square from 4 to 8 p.m.

The Occupy movement began in New York City last fall and spread across the country, with protesters denouncing corporate excess and economic inequality.

37 replies on “OccupyMaine to protest nation’s growing student loan debt”

  1. I see this as a good sign. For a movement in search of a purpose, they are swerving closer to the real problem and with this move, they begin to protest themselves. In this example, the high cost of a generally liberal education is being protested. When the govt. subsidizes something, you generally get more of it. In this case, it produces more ‘education.’ In the Obama Economy, these degrees will not help one to get a job because businesses will not hire because there is too much uncertainty, including the fact that Obama is running again. The occupiers would do well to turn on their man Barry.

  2. I don’t get it. Are they protesting borrowing? Debt happens when someone borrows. Or are they protesting the silly idea that debt should be repaid? I thought, in this country, each individual decides whether to borrow or not and accepts responsibility. How do you protest whether complete strangers borrow or not. And wasn’t that Franklin Roosevelt’s whole stimulus idea back in the 1930s, that debt is good? Have these people forgotten their liberal heritage? Oh, well, time to go to work and earn so I can pay taxes…


      No, seriously, you’re wasting your time…They just like to cost us working folk money and complain about how unfair everything is.

    2. I saw the CBS evening news last night.  One kid they talked to was going to graduate from George Washington University with over 80K in loans.  Who wouldn’t think attending a very expensive private school to get a (and I am not kidding) double major in Sociology and Women’s Studies would be a fantastic idea.  Nobody is forcing anybody to sign on for huge loans.  There are less expensive ways to get a 4 year degree, but some just don’t want to do it that way.

      As for the interest rate hikes (and I have not independently researched this), John Boehner said yesterday this hike was part of a deal pushed by dems (in a dem controlled Congress) back in ’07.

      I have a fair amount of debt from my masters degree.  I don’t like it, but I signed for it, and I pay it every month.

      I am sure the Occupy crowd will morph this into “all college should be free.”  I suspect the occupy crowd will have a fair number of those sociology/women’s studies majors since they are probably not so employable (and that must be somebody’s fault).

      1. And for all colleges to be free, the liberal professors would also have to agree to a substantial cut in pay.  I love the irony here.

      2.  I know someone who got an MFA in creative writing  a few years ago. She’s middle   aged and basically doesn’t want to have to work. she wants to cook and Make Art  She supports this bigtime of course. Having killed myself to pay off mine I have zero sympathy for all this.

      3.  What’s so irritating  about this is that Sallie Mae has many, many warnings on their website re debt and your responsibility–way more hand holding than back in the day when I had college loans.  (I also have ones for a master’s, which is a third paid off).  We’ve just got to stop this philosophy that  we are helpless children who have  no responsibility for anything.

        1.  You do understand that we live in a different time. People no longer have individual responsibility for their decisions, they have collective ones.

          “I really thought that my job as a social worker @$30k per year was going to cover all my needs but since it can’t and I am such a giving person, how about  YOU pay my loan. After all we are all in this together.”

    3. Here is an idea protesters – Don’t like debt, Don’t borrow.  It is possible to obtain an advanced degree without mountains of debt.  You just need to get off your hind end and work while you’re at school (or before/after) and limit your lifestyle choices.

      1. You also can do 2 years at a local community college and then transfer to a 4 year college to complete your degree. We have been paying my son’s tuition on a 10 month payment plan which allows us to spread out the tuition costs.

    4. Absolutely. But we shouldn’t be surprised the “occupy” group has latched on to an equally inane target…

    5. The situation is this:  advanced education helps a country compete in the global world and improves job chances.  Republicans are constantly making it harder to go to college, because the college-educated don’t favor them.

      1. I’m confused…most colleges are run by a more liberal leaning group.  Explain how republicans are making it harder for kids to go to college (I am not being sarcastic, I truly want to know).

  3. Student loans have made it possible for millions to get a post secondary education. No one forced anyone to borrow any money. I agree that many of today’s college grads have staggering debt and useless degrees, but who chose the  field of study and how much to pay for the education? The INDIVIDUAL.

    Hey Occupiers – start occupying your own self and try making better decisions individually. I am pretty sure that will get us going in the right direction.

    1. Not to mention how many never worked through their college years and instead used portions of their student loans to live!  I watched an MSNBC special on student loans about a year ago and one woman bought a car with her student loan…

  4. I wonder what students would think if those at the top of the GPA mountain were told that their GPA was too high and ignored the students at the bottom of the GPA mountain?

    That the college/university was instituting a new policy that “takes” GPA points away from those with 3.0-4.0 and give them (redistribute them) to those with 1.0-2.0 averages. Don’t the students at the bottom pay the same amount as the students at the top? What do you think the students at the top would say vs. those at the bottom?

    1. Taking from the top and giving to the bottom is like our income tax system and college admissions, so for a large part of our citizenry your idea will be wildly popular.  As for the students at the top, what they say won’t count for much against the demands of those at the bottom:  just more affirmative action.

    2. That’s be incredibly different from what’s happening now. Right now, it’s more like those in the middle of the GPA mountain having their averages redistributed to the top. Those on the top would have several from the bottom doing their homework for them.

  5. I think the idea is that Wall Street got a trillion dollar bailout so why shouldn’t the students.  It’s a good question.  Most of the loan payments are going to the banks, not the U.S. Treasury.

    1. If the loan payments are going to the banks, I guess I would have to assume that the banks were the ones who lent the money in the first place. I now can only assume that the Occupy movement is going to push that the banks should forgo these loans and write it off as charity for the betterment of society. They borrowed the money to get the coveted sheepskin and now they want to whine and call the whole system unfair now that it is time to pay the piper.

      1. I agree.  I borrowed the money and it will be paid off this year.  But I am concerned about the fact that for the 3rd time in 10 years my loan has been “sold”.  What’s up with that?  

        1. All loans made by lending institutions are in fact considered an investment portfolio for them. When an influx of cash is needed, some parts of this portfolio are are bundled and sold for the desired capital. My mortgage has been sold twice in the last seven years, it has had no effect on my loan except who I make my payment to. I commend you for being one of the ones that understand that the student loans you took were an obligation to be upheld on your part

          1. I was smart about taking my loan.  I only took what I needed to pay for classes and I worked 40 hours a week to pay for everything else.  I majored in something that would allow me to make a decent living . I make extra payments when I can afford to and I make sure that no matter what that loan is paid on time each month…which has resulted in it having a great interest rate!  Plus it looks great on my credit report.

        2. You may have an old loan. All loans since the ACA was passed are controlled by the Federal Government. It was a funding mechanism of the healthcare law passed in 2010.

          1. I do have an older loan.  I was not aware of the stipulation in the healthcare law…I’m surprised that it didn’t get more press.

    2. Did you know that many banks were required to take bailout funds whether they wanted to or not? Including a few Banks some Occupy people call “local”.

  6. One guy, Al Lord, made over $240 million off of Sallie Mae.  Perhaps these protestors have a legitimate beef.  Perhaps Clinton was right.  Perhaps, if we value education as much as we pretend to, we will agree that the student loan system has been hijacked by the ultra wealthy “heritage families” as another way to extract wealth from a defenseless populace at the expense of our national welfare.  Perhaps a better legislated or a socialistic approach to student loans would be a superior system for encouraging education in the future and thus increasing America’s chances of remaining competitive in the global economy.  Just sayin…….


    1. Maybe a better educated approach to education is warranted instead. Good life lessons being learned all around. Guidance counselors and other “advisers” need to stop telling kids it’s okay to follow your dreams even if that means plunking down $80,000 for some silly degree. Technical institutes should be getting more students and subsidies than these schools that promote some social-political agenda that most people simply don’t care about anyway.  We all need to quit playing the blame-game and back our words with hard work.

  7. Who are these villains who go around around clubbing our graduating high school seniors, dragging their insensible bodies to university, chaining them to a desk, and forcing them into indentured servitude?

  8. They should learn not to borrow outside their means.  As they would say about housing, but I suppose it should all go under the same roof where lenders lent money to people and their families that they could not afford.

    Students have no credit history.  Students only get loans if their parents sign the paperwork.  How about helping those whose parents will not sign for the loan, do not qualify for a loan and will not help their children, or those whose parents are extended and cannot sign for their second or third child, and help those people get an opportunity to get education?

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