Occupy Wall Street to Host Variety Show to 'Abolish Debt’

By Elizabeth Harrington | November 13, 2012 | 5:35 PM EST

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The liberal group Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is set to host a “variety show and telethon to benefit the 99 percent” on Thursday evening with the goal being to “abolish debt.”

“It will be a wild night of music, comedy, magic, education, and the unexpected,” the group states on the event’s website.  “This fast-moving variety show will mix well-known performers, intellectuals and activists from Strike Debt and Occupy Wall Street.”

“The People’s Bailout, a variety show and telethon to benefit the 99%” will be hosted at (Le) Poisson Rouge, a music venue in New York City that describes itself as “serving art and alcohol.”  The OWS says the event is sold out, after selling tickets for $25, $50, $100 and $250.

The event will feature Frances Fox Piven, Janeane Garofalo, and Lizz Winstead, the co-creator and former head writer of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”

Piven, 80, a sociology and political science professor at the University Center of the City University of New York, famously devised the “Cloward and Piven” strategy with her late husband, Richard Cloward, in the 1960s, which proposed collapsing the economy in favor of a more socialist America.

Left-wing activist Frances Fox Piven. (AP)

Piven has been an adamant supporter of OWS, and gave a speech in the early days of the Zuccotti Park protest in the fall of 2011, calling Wall Street bankers “cannibals” and “thieves.”

“I am here because I am so enthusiastic about the possibilities of this sit-in,” Piven said at the time.  “I think we desperately need a popular uprising in the United States. None of us know. I study movements.”

“None of us know the exact formula for when those movements erupt, but it could be,” she said.  “And if that is true, then these people who are here are really wonderful.  I would do anything to help them.”

Actress and liberal activist Janeane Garofalo. (AP)

Garofalo, the outspoken liberal actress, has also supported the movement, saying “They do have a clear message.  It’s called ‘Occupy Wall Street.’”

“They’re saying we are the 99 percent of citizens who have no voice in government,” Garofalo told then-MSNBC host Keith Olbermann in 2011.  “The message, I think, seems very, very clear.  Sometimes people bring the Tea Party and compare them.  The Tea Party is an establishment movement funded by and supported by corporate money and a propaganda network.”

“This on Occupy Wall Street is a real grass roots, people movement with a message,” she said.

Garofalo has also called members of the Tea Party "a bunch of teabagging rednecks," adding "this is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up."

The OWS is billing Thursday night’s variety show as a “bailout of the people by the people,” partnering with a “debt resistor” group, Rolling Jubilee.

“Join Strike Debt for an updated version of an old classic, the telethon, to launch The Rolling Jubilee, a campaign that buys debt for pennies on the dollar and does away with it,” the OWS said.  “Instead of collecting the debt, we will abolish it and help free the debtors!”

“Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.”

“Debt resistance is just the beginning,” they said.  “Join us as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits.”

Rolling Jubilee is also asking people to target certain celebrities on TWITTER to “support the People's Bailout,” including Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, the Dalai Lama, Wyclef Jean, Louis C. K., and Bruce Springsteen.  The group says it has raised over $100,000 towards “abolishing debt.”

The telethon will be live-streamed on Rolling Jubilee’s website on Thursday at 8:00 p.m.

“People shouldn't have to go into debt for an education, because they need medical care, or to put food on the table during hard times,” the OWS said.  “We shouldn't have to pay endless interest to the 1% for basic necessities.”

“Big banks and corporations walk away from their debts and leave taxpayers to pick up the tab,” said the group.  “It’s time for a bailout of the people, by the people.”