PERSONAL "BUTTONING" STORIES
(Watch this video of buttoning on the streets of Boston)
Andra Addis told me (John Spritzler) about her experience buttoning random people in Lincoln Square in Chicago on two occasions, once in May of 2018 and again in October, and she gave me permission to share here what she told me about it. Here are her words about what people said, about how they wanted an egalitarian society but didn't think it was possible. Our job is to help people see that it IS possible because it's what most people want.
"Good Morning, John - Saturday I was in Lincoln Square and I spoke to people about our current government and what kind of government we would like to see while passing out your buttons. People were very receptive; however, they did not think that it was possible. A dream......They are not interested in participating in a revolution. This is the problem with the people I spoke to. These were not, for the most part, ignorant or stupid people. They were more aware of what is going on in this country and what is going on with our foreign policy than I thought they might be."
"I spoke to and buttoned 12 older, upper middle class Americans in their 60's and 70's. I had great conversations with these people. All of them help others in their own way. They all would like to have an egalitarian society because they know what is happening in this country is very dangerous. Everyone I spoke to had feelings; they truly care about the less fortunate. They do not like the type of society we now have. They told me that while they do not feel all-knowing about many things, they do know enough to realize that our country is not moving in the right direction. I printed your article - People for Democratic Revolution/Why Have No Rich & No Poor? - and I gave it to everyone I spoke to. I told them to go to your website to learn more and they will find information on how to contact you if they so choose. They liked talking to me and thanked me for informing them and they will spread the information to others. I tend to think that after this positive exchange with all of these people that there are probably millions more from all different social/economic backgrounds who feel the same way. No one was in any hurry to get away from me. We thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. I felt great after talking to these people."
[I asked Andra to say something about how she selected the people she spoke to and she replied with these words:]
"I went back to Lincoln Square and spoke to 6 people who I did not know. I spoke to 6 more people in a restaurant on Michigan Avenue. I knew none of these people prior to my contact with them. Actually, I hope more people ask you for buttons. I do think that this is important. I did not do this the first time I buttoned people - giving them one of your articles. This time around I gave everyone I buttoned that article - People for a Democratic Revolution...My personal feeling is that anyone who buttons people, he/she should also give them one or two of your articles. I think that this is very important. Also important is that people know who you are and know how to contact you."
(The following were sent to the PDR Yahoo email group)
[Reported by Kathy F., May 18, 2016]
I have some button stories I've been too busy to post. All but 4 were very positive.
I stopped into a Walgreens Drug and showed my button to the manager and cashier. The cashier liked it but seemed unsure if he could wear it at work. When the manager saw the button and chatted with me about it she put it on right away and told the cashier he could wear it. She asked for another one for her 9 year old son's backpack. The other thing about the Walgreens experience is that the Mgr wanted a button for her son's backpack! 10 years old. She was planning to explain it to him.
Then I went to a huge supermarket where I passed out about 10 to 15 more buttons to great enthusiasm.
I ran out of buttons at that point.
Yesterday I stopped by another store and the guy behind me in line asked if he could read my button. He said it would be a much better world, so I gave him my button and he put it on then and there.
There were others, but I don't remember the details.
The wishy-washy and negative responses: I went to a discussion about corporate greed and figured everyone would be enthusiastic. One woman said "You'e prejudiced against people with money". The other 3 women felt that if you don't like the way things are, you vote for new politicians. Since I got the cold shoulder after that, I made a quick getaway :). And so it goes....
[Reported by Jim R., May 17, 2016]
Enthusiastic response to button in rural New Hampshire
As I went through the check-out line at my supermarket here in Claremont NH the cashier said she really liked my button and agreed with it 100%. I gave her a button along with one of the "Thank-You" sheets that I keep folded in my pocket -- and told her to please wear it with pride and spread the word, because it's important that people know that they're not alone in wanting an egalitarian revolution. I had to keep moving along and so wasn't able to talk more with her. I hadn't even asked her what she thought of the button; I suspect that another cashier, to whom I'd given a button a week or so ago, had shown it to her. All the best, Jim
[Reported by Nick B. in rural Pennsylvania May 13, 2016]
Today was my day for the foodbank and I do not like to go there. However, we have no choice, if we want to eat. The line was quite long and I figured that I should attempt to button. I had five with me, including the one that I wear near my anti-Sexism button. I went up to people, handed them a button and asked them what they thought of it. I was able to distribute all four of the buttons, two men and two women took them. I also passed out a leaflet letting them know how to contact me if they wanted to be part of PURE. They seemed excited to become part of a movement. None of them plan on voting and stated that they did not trust any of the candidates. I told them that I felt the same way. I told them that the answer was not voting in these elections but in building a movement to oust the rich from power as the button states. I have had a lot of luck at the foodbank distributing the button, due to the fact that the people there are suffering economic hardships.
[Reported by Nick B. in rural Pennsylvania April 4, 2016]
On Friday, I was roped into canvassing with my son in a poor neighborhood of Pittsburgh for Bernie Sanders. It proved to be an exercise in futility and most people did not answer the door or were out. I only distibuted one of the fifty buttons I had on me. On top of this, I was worn out from all of the walking and climbing steps. But I did not let this discourage me. The next morning my son, my daughter in law and I went to a pro-Sanders rally and I was not sure how things would turn out. I had 49 buttons and I was determined to distribute them. There were a couple of hundred people at this rally, many young, Black and white and some older folks like me. I began by approaching one fellow supervising the door and asked him if he would be interested in taking a button. He wanted to know what it was about and I let him read it. His response was positive and he took one. Then he asked me what the PDR stood for and I explained this to him. He said that this sounded great. I was also enthused and began approaching all sorts of people in the hall where the rally was taking place. I did not have one negative response to the button and everyone actually seemed grateful for receiving one. There was not a lot of time for any discussions, as things were busy with the speakers and a folk singer. But they all seemed to like the message of the button and some of them actually seemed quite happy to get the button. I distributed 48 buttons at this rally and I also put some stickers up at various locations throughout that area. Needless to say, I was more than pleased with the buttoning and felt like people really were for an egalitarian revolution. When I left the rally, I had only one button left. We went to a Thai restaurant to celebrate and when I was leaving the restaurant, I noticed a restaurant worker sitting out back having a smoke. I figured what the hell and showed him the button. He stated that he liked it and immediately put it on his shirt. It turns out that he was a cook at this restaurant. I can only hope that this might encourage others to attempt buttoning. People really do respond in a positive fashion to the message of the button. Actually, I could have easily used fifty more buttons and would have had no trouble distributing them on Sunday when I went to a union meeting with my son, who is a union organizer and I could have also distributed some to striking Verizon workers.
[Reported by Bob C. April 4, 2016]
Today I was in an independent bookstore, shopping for a couple of birthday gifts. The proprietor himself (whose "day job" is with Google) helped me, quickly, efficiently and pleasantly. I was wearing my coat with button on the lapel. Because this small business entrepreneur had been so nice, I asked him to read the button; although, because he was so successful, I thought that many people would consider him to be "rich." He obligingly read the button, first saying that "I don't wear buttons"; and then he said he liked it, and he took one.
So it goes. Let's get the word out!
Reported by John Spritzler July 2016
I went to a pro-Trump (and pro-2nd Amendment) rally and asked 50 randomly selected pro-Trump supporters (they were all white, mostly wearing the MAGA cap and/or NRA insignia shirts and many holding an American flag) this question. 86% of them said they agreed, enthusiastically! Each of them took a button with those words when I offered it and many pinned it on themselves right on the spot. One woman offered me a bottle of cold water (it was a very hot day) in appreciation of what I was doing. Only 8% strongly disagreed, and 6% didn't know what they thought.
TO SEE EARLIER REPORTS: CLICK HERE