UK students win fight over interest debt with HSBC
From ABC News: (I’ve heavily edited this, see the original)
By early August, HSBC formally began applying a 9.9
percent interest to the debts of nearly 250,000 British students. Here
in the land of genteel socialism, the response was predictable: fury.
But students are always angry about something. But that is
counterbalanced by the fact that they are also usually powerless. The
result is typically a whole lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
But this time, something changed. And that change may prove to
be very significant. What happened was that 4,000 of those angry
students went on to the online community site Facebook, which is
especially popular with college students, and joined a group dedicated
to getting HSBC to reverse its decision.
The group, created by Wes Streeting, vice president of the
National Union of Students (NUS), was entitled "Stop the Great HSBC
Graduate Rip-Off" (a classic example of hubris: only postadolescents
would characterize the end of a charity as a "rip-off.")
Literally within days the group had 4,000 members, all
loudly demanding a return of their preferential treatment. And then an
amazing thing happened &
HSBC, the world’s fourth largest corporation, with assets of nearly $2 trillion, caved.
Between 1994 and 1996 I organized people mostly through e-mail to fight digital censorship legislation. Last month college students in the UK organized on Facebook to fight policies of banking giant HSBC in the UK, and won.
The skills are similar, all that’s changed is the venue. It was e-mail, now it’s Facebook. To those who say "It’s an entirely new world of skills and techniques" I say no, it’s just politics. Only your megaphone has changed.