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CounterSpin: Braxton Brewington On Student Loan Debt

An NBC News story headlined “White House Confronts Political Pressure to Extend Pause in Student Loan Payments Ahead of Midterms” represented much media focus on student loan debt: treating the fact that 45 million Americans owe some $1.7 trillion as an “issue,” an object of debate, a potential election factor. And that’s all true. Student loan forgiveness was one of Biden’s campaign promises. The federal pause on repayments is set to expire on May 1, and what happens with it will have an effect on the president and the party. But, of course, there’s also a much broader and deeper conversation to be had about student loans, and about debt, that hopefully will carry us beyond any particular election cycle. For an update on the current situation and our understanding of what’s at stake, we’re joined now by Braxton Brewington, press secretary and organizer at the group Debt Collective, a membership-based union for debtors and allies.

How The White House Could Wipe Out Federal Student Loan Debt

Last week, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain hinted that President Joe Biden may soon take action on the nation's $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. Biden has several options at his disposal to aid the nation's 43 million student loan borrowers, experts told the American Independent Foundation. "The president is going to look at what we should do on student debt before the pause expires, or he'll extend the pause," Klain said on the podcast Pod Save America last Thursday. "Right now, people aren't having to pay on their loans, and so I think dealing with the executive branch question, what we should do about that, what his powers are, how much we should do on that, that's something we're going to deal with later on," Klain added.

High School Students Organized Thousands To Walk Out For Amir Locke

More than 3,000 high school students from across the Twin Cities metro area in Minnesota walked out of class February 8 to march to the governor’s mansion and demand justice following the death of Amir Locke. Locke, a 22-year-old Black man, was shot and killed February 2 by a Minneapolis Police Department SWAT officer during a no-knock apartment raid. Locke was neither named in the no-knock warrant nor a resident of the apartment. In an area beset by the police killings of Black residents — including 46-year-old George Floyd in May 2020 — Locke’s death sparked marches and car caravans across the Twin Cities. Twin Cities high school students organized quickly through social media to demand the demilitarization of the Minneapolis Police Department, the resignation of those culpable in the killing of Amir Locke, and a ban on no-knock warrants.

Students Protest Fatal Police Shooting Of Amir Locke

Hundreds of Twin Cities-area students walked out of class Tuesday to protest the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Amir Locke, a Black man who was killed by Minneapolis police serving a no-knock warrant at a downtown apartment. Locke was not the subject of the warrant. The demonstration, organized by the student organization MN Teen Activists, began at St. Paul Central High School at noon. Students from across the Twin Cities gathered for the rally and march, including pupils from Lakeville, Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis. The activists said they are demanding the resignations of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman and Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, as well as the demilitarization of Minneapolis police.

Student Granted Bail After Protesters Threaten To Render Kingdom ‘Ungovernable’

A court in the city of Manzini granted bail to Colani Maseko, the president of Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) on Friday, February 4. The student leader had been arrested on January 31 and charged with sedition. His bail came a day after the SNUS marched to the Manzini regional police headquarters and held a demonstration on February 3. A cross section of Swaziland’s pro-democracy forces, including the banned political parties, trade unions, and youth organizations, attended the action. Outside the police headquarters, protesters at the demonstration openly threatened to render the kingdom “ungovernable” until the release of Maseko and all other political prisoners of Africa’s last absolute monarchy.
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