Occupy Wall Street: Follow-up to a Modest Proposal, #OWS

Last week I concluded a blog I wrote about the Occupy Wall Street movement with a modest proposal. I wrote:

“I’m about to contact a progressive button-maker to ask them to produce hundreds of union-made 1.75” diameter buttons that read “99%”. I’d like some to have black backgrounds with the 99% in red, some to reverse that color scheme and the rest to substitute the color green for either the black or the red. I chose those colors because I approve of their political symbolism, but some readers might prefer others. I’m going to wear one such button and carry a bunch of others with me. I’ll give one to anyone I meet who indicates they’d like to wear one. I encourage others to do the same. …. This is just one small action thousands of us can take to keep the discussion going.”

Since then, I have placed an order, although I had to scale-back the color scheme to red on black or black on red to contain the cost. I should have the buttons in hand by the end of next week.

My object was to distribute them in person rather than act as a mail-order house to send them to people all over the country. I hoped that people in other parts of the country would emulate what I did, and order and distribute them personally as well. That will spread the buttons in a viral fashion and is much more cost effective.

For instance, it cost me $115.00 to have 250 buttons made and 125 shipped to me. The button maker, Donnelly/Colt: Progressive Resources, will hold the other 125 so they can fulfill direct orders. They won’t change for the buttons, but will charge for postage and padded packaging. The charge to package and mail one button will be $1.84, two $2.30, three $2.76, four $3.22, five $4.41 and ten $6.38.

They can be ordered from Donnelly/Colt, PO Box 188, Hampton, CT 06247 (phone – 860-455-9621 & fax 800-553-0006), or at  www.donnellycolt.com.

On another note, our local Occupy Northampton movement made simple peel and stick labels (12 to a sheet) at our local copying collective, that read “99%” in black and white. The worker-owners liked them so much they deeply discounted the cost and didn’t charge for the slicing. We got 1000 labels for under $20. The problem is that they haven’t stuck well to coats in New England’s November cold.

One fell off my coat as I was getting out of my car so I slapped it on my bumper. It stuck beautifully and the 99% was clearly visible from a distance. I’ve taken to carrying a bunch around in my coat pocket and offering them to others.

I know that a lot of my age-mates are full of verbal and written advice for the “Occupiers.” I prefer to show my support. The multifaceted conversation OWS has started and the near universal appeal of its 99% slogan, have driven its growth. Almost everyone knows what 99% stands for. Millions of us can wear a button or have a bumper sticker that says nothing more than 99% and play a role in keeping the conversation alive. There is strength in numbers - this is such a simple way to show that we have them.

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