Dozens rally in Philadelphia for student loan forgiveness

    There has been a lot of talk about how the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Philadelphia movements are a hodge-podge of issues. Monday, dozens of protesters rallied outside Philadelphia City Hall with a specific goal—student loan forgiveness.

    Demonstrators want student debtors to be bailed out just like the banks.

    Student debt in the United States totals $1 trillion with the average college student owing $34,000 at graduation.

    Programs such as Americorps could offer larger educational stipends for students, said an organizer with the Philadelphia Economic Advancement Collective or PEACE, which put on Monday’s march.

    The bottom line, said Jamila Wilson, is that students can’t afford to pay back loans if they can’t find work.

    “We’re talking about the need for jobs, increasing jobs,” she said. “If you can free these young people up from the weight of their debt, that gives them the opportunity to be innovative, to want to take risks and the opportunity to create great things that this country is known for doing.”

    PEACE plans to hold regular protests at intersections around Philadelphia in an effort to enlist others in a movement for student debt forgiveness.

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