Debt Resistance UK (DRUK), inspired by the US Strike Debt The Debt Resistor’s Operations Manual, is working towards a series of pamphlets on how to avoid letting debt rule our lives and how to use collective action to resist it. Each of the pamphlets will focus on a different type of debt and will draw on real experiences and ideas for resistance rather than exclusively on the theoretical aspects of debt. This round of pamphlets will be focusing specifically on UK debt and opportunities for debt resistance within the UK.
Debt Resistance UK is a group dedicated to challenging the narrative of debt injustice as apolitical and inevitable. This manual will be a tool to work towards our aims.
We encourage collaborative writing for the making of the pamphlets. Anyone can participate by submitting part of the content, even if they are not already members of DRUK. For each pamphlet there will be one reference person from DRUK coordinating the process. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more.
Drafts will be published in google docs with editing capabilities shared with those working on the topic, and comments capabilities for other members of DRUK. Authors are welcome to work on other platforms, but are encouraged to share the updates of their draft in the Google Drive.
An editorial team will have the role of assessing and editing the text on the following basis:
- Alignment of political message to the aims of DRUK
- Conformity of text to pre-agreed structure
- Language accessibility and uniformity in style between pamphlets
- Appropriate graphical material
- Proofreading grammar and spelling
We aim to publish the pamphlets individually and to collect them in a book as a single publication. We also aim to make the publications available online. Each pamphlet will be published under the name of Debt Resistance UK. A collective list of contributors will be added to the website and to the book. If you would prefer for your name NOT to be added to a list of contributors, please state this clearly.
The Local Government Association estimates that central funding for governments has shrunk by 40% since 2010. With the election of a Tory government committed to austerity in May 2015 we can expect further, deeper cuts that endanger the frontline services, such as child protection and social care, which local councils provide.
Driven by ideology to reduce the UK’s deficit, the government is also forcing councils to borrow not from central government (which would increase the national debt) but from private banks. This opens the door to profiteering and the diversion of council funds that would otherwise be used for essential services into the pockets of fat cats in the City of London.
Debt Resistance UK wants to kickstart citizen-led debt audits for local authorities throughout the country. We aim to provide information, tools and training that will enable citizens to scrutinise the financial decisions of their local councils and help them pressure their councillors to reject the harsh austerity measures inflicted by Westminster.
To provide citizens and grassroots groups across the UK with information and tools to:
- understand how Local Authority finance works and is managed (funding, borrowing, investment and spending);
- obtain, understand and present information on Local Authority finance;
- demand transparency and accountability from local government and the companies they contract to deliver services;
- to challenge non-transparent practices, conflicts of interest between private and public sector or, more generally, decisions that can be proven to not have been made in the interest of citizens;
- legitimise their own struggles (anti-cuts, divestment, etc).