PORTLAND, Maine — Members of OccupyMaine gathered in Monument Square Wednesday to recognize what student protesters across the country called “Trillion-dollar Day,” as student debt in America reached the 10-digit mark. The occupiers — who as a group have remained active since the city-ordered dispersal of their 4-month-old tent community in Lincoln Park in early February — blamed the growing student debt bubble on skyrocketing tuition costs and “predatory” lenders. “Some people in my parents’ generation don’t understand why we can’t just ‘get jobs and pay for it,’ but tuition rates since 1979 have gone up by more than 800 percent,” University of Southern Maine student Jacob Lowry, who has participated in Occupy events in Portland and Washington, D.C., said Wednesday. “There’s a misconception when you’re talking about student loan debt that we’re asking for handouts. … What we’re talking about is a more equitable society in which everyone can afford an education.” (read more at Bangor Daily News)
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