Thursday, April 28, 2011

Post It Note Protest Going Viral


Gas pains fuel sticky-note protests at the pump
Like most drivers, Karen Hayes of Palos Heights, Illinois is concerned about the high price of gasoline. She filled up yesterday at the station outside her local Dominick’s grocery store where gas was selling for $4.319 per gallon. She picked this station because they gave her a discount of ten cents per gallon for purchasing $50 worth of groceries. At a net of price of $4.219 she felt like she had uncovered a real bargain – a nearby Shell station was selling regular unleaded for $4.399.

Before driving away, however, she followed the example of thousands of other Americans and scribbled a message on a sticky-note which she applied to the pump on the way out. It read: “HOW’S THAT ‘HOPE & CHANGE’ WORKING OUT FOR YOU?”

Rising gas prices are fueling skepticism of President Obama’s policies like nothing else has. While widely unpopular, ObamaCare will take years to fully implement. The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya seem like an endless but faraway abstraction. Even the housing crisis and weak economy seem to have been grinding on little by little for years.

Gas prices are different, however. Every week, it seems that they have gone up again serving as a stark and regular reminder to most people of how stressed their incomes have become. As the rising price of fuel affects other commodity prices, consumers are just getting fed up.

Hayes said, “I put [the note] there after seeing the campaign on Facebook. I thought it was a clever campaign and an easy, no-cost way to protest the prices and ask people to think a little. Gas prices are alarming, and I had just talked to a family member who is really getting hit hard. This is hurting everyone, but our young people and seniors are really taking a hit.”

John Kennedy once said, “Victory has a thousand fathers; defeat is an orphan.” In this victory over glib political sloganeering, one of those fathers is certainly Chris Lotto of Phoenix, Arizona.

Lotto, a 63-year-old manager in an accounting firm, had heard about somebody placing one of these sticky notes on a gas pump as a protest last week. He decided to do the same and wrote a brief message about it as his Facebook status on Saturday. To his amazement, he got over two dozen favorable comments about it over the next couple of days. Because a Facebook status cannot be “shared,” many of his friends encouraged him to do more to get the word out.

Lotto and a group of three other Facebook friends created an Event on Facebook to promote this silent protest on Monday and it just took off from there. As of this writing, The 'Hope and Change' Sticky Note Campaign now has over 7,000 “Attending.” More importantly, however, well over 50,000 invitations have been sent out by Facebook users eager to share this idea with their friends.

Hundreds of photos of sticky-notes on gas pumps have already been posted on the page. Some are signed “NObama 2012” or “John Galt” in homage to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. A woman from Georgia posted pictures of the notes on grocery store shelves protesting the increased prices on breakfast cereal and coffee. Another from Virginia reported that she had been placing them between the pages of magazines in doctors’ offices to protest the President’s health care overhaul.
Calling it “America’s GAS-ROOTS Movement,” Lotto says, “Never in my wildest imagination did I ever dream that this would hit such a raw nerve with the American public.”

Lotto said his frustration stems in part from President Obama’s shutting down oil production in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill last year. When Lotto learned that several former Gulf rigs later moved to explore for oil off the coast of Brazil (which the President supports) he had had enough.

“People are tired,” he says. “Conservatives are very discouraged. All we’re trying to do is to silently, politely send a message that we’re mad and we’re not going to take it any more.”

Or, as Karen Hayes puts it, “Many Americans, especially those living in Cook County, Illinois, can't take much more of this type of ‘hope and change.’”

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Gaining steam from my end-here is a facebook site for your folks..

This thing is still going on the forums. There's a facebook page dedicated to the sticky note campaign now: .
People are really excited about this.
This is also hitting grocery stores. Why not everywhere?

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