Last Monday night, I went to Howard Schultz's possible presidential campaign roll-out book signing and called him an "egotistical billionaire asshole". Full quote: "Don't help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire asshole! Go back to getting ratio'd on twitter. Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elites who think they know how to run the world. That's not what democracy needs!" I'm "NYC's Most Prolific Political Heckler". Proof on twitter https://twitter.com/AndyRattoI_Am_A/status/1092512243340726272

Thank to my comrades in Jewish Solidarity Caucus - I wouldn't be talking about Howard Schultz as a class enemy without them. And thanks to my friends in Rise and Resist and ACT UP for constantly teaching and inspiring me. You can read interviews with me in Gothamist, Gay City News, and The Forward.

I would love to talk about heckling politicians, how I see my heckling as part of the queer liberation and radical Jewish leftism I support, why we shouldn't have any more billionaires, and any other questions that you have.

Comments: 1278 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

andyratto331 karma

Wow, some of you really don’t like gay socialist Jewish hecklers.

NEEDZMOAR_43 karma

Have you ever been called an antisemite for being pro palestine and if so how much did you laugh?

andyratto61 karma

Yes, and lots.

[deleted]23 karma

[deleted]

andyratto118 karma

I was initially planning to stay anonymous with the Schultz heckle, as I did when I yelled at Sean Spicer. But I grew annoyed that there wasn't enough condemnation of Schultz for his transparent attempt to use this presidential campaign to protect his wealth, rather than allow for a broadening and strengthening of the social safety net. I also think our politics needs more class analysis. Schultz being a billionaire is a disqualification for the presidency in my mind, as opposed to any kind of positive attribute.

TeddyRooseveltballs284 karma

when will you go on chapo?

andyratto79 karma

Am I invited?

andyratto273 karma

And if folks are interested in the topic, I was also at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn during parts of the day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as part of a community response to the inhuman conditions for the incarcerated people there. I can also answer questions about that.

Pozania190 karma

have you heckled any other politicians/billionaires, and are there clips?

andyratto448 karma

I told Sean Spicer that he was a garbage person who wrote a garbage book. At the same Barnes and Noble.

NoGodsNoSenpais289 karma

thank you for your service o7

andyratto154 karma

I was furious watching the reporter treat Spicer with respect at Spicer's book event. Spicer is absolute garbage, and we need to make that clear.

Formae9 karma

I'm pretty sure this was on Howard Stern

andyratto43 karma

Yeah, it was a slow news day, and it got a lot of attention.

andyratto163 karma

Oh, and the strangest part of this was that apparently Tucker Carlson said something nice about my heckling on his show. I've never been complimented by a white supremacist before.

KombatKid158 karma

How does it feel to be more valuable than all the cable news networks combined?

andyratto253 karma

Good heckling is also an indictment of the news media and pundits, because a heckler is saying something that should be said, but no one else is saying it. There was a reason that so many cable news shows and late night comedy shows played the clip of me yelling at Schultz. I said something that a lot of people agreed with, but no one was saying it out loud.

andyratto115 karma

I can't believe I'm doing this on reddit before I set up my new website - make billionaire a slur dot tumblr dot com.

andyratto96 karma

For anyone who didn't read the Gothamist interview, I also told Sean Spicer last year that he was a garbage person who wrote a garbage book. At the same Barnes and Noble.

Pendulous_balls7 karma

I bet the women are lining up at your door for a chance to be with such a brave and fierce social justice warrior.

andyratto4 karma

I’m gay.

justscottaustin91 karma

Who cares?

BigBangBrosTheory52 karma

Yeah not sure what to ask here. "Hey what's it like to yell at someone?"

andyratto100 karma

It's fun.

andyratto77 karma

You should try it sometime.

andyratto75 karma

In one of my interviews, I talked about my admiration for Jennicet Gutiérrez, a trans indigenous undocumented woman, and her efforts to call attention to immigration abuses under Obama. You can read more about her here: Transgender woman heckles Barack Obama at White House gay pride event

datcuban63 karma

Why do you think you're important?

andyratto61 karma

I think that in some small way, I helped shift the conversation last week. Rather than the default position, where billionaires are treated with reverence, and respect, much of the commentary took a more critical tone, using my heckling as the pretext for that conversation. Without any kind of class analysis, billionaires are “self-made” and “job creators” and “hard working” and we conflate their money with their virtue.

But Schultz isn’t a hero. He used the labor of his employees for his own personal gain, and hoarded that wealth rather than re-distributing it within his company. And now he’s running for president in an effort to block policies that could redistribute some of his wealth for the greater good. He’s a class enemy, and we need to recognize that in order to overcome it.

We need to shift the discourse of how we talk about our economic system, and and how we talk about the billionaires who have amassed great wealth and power. Now that Schultz is trying to convert that wealth into political status as well, we must resist.

LBCdaze49 karma

This is so pathetic you are trying to make this your path to fame. I honestly feel sorry for you. You really think you are out there making a difference? You think you are fighting the good fight and "resisting"? You are fueled by hate, you spout hate, and you part of the problem - but you are probably too smug and too stupid to realize it.

Also, you look exactly like I would expect. No wonder you are such an angry person.

andyratto63 karma

Maybe I made a little difference. Maybe I didn't.
Howard Schultz Already Reconsidering This Whole President Thing

Although what I want much more than trashing Howard Schultz is a world without any more billionaires.

lexapro_bro36 karma

If you could heckle any currently-acting politician from anywhere in the world, who would it be, and why?

andyratto88 karma

Kirstjen Nielsen.

Bannanaphone90435 karma

Who will you be supporting in the 2020 election? What do you stand for politically and what repulsed you from Howard Schultz?

andyratto157 karma

I don't have any strong feelings about the Democratic primary, except that I'm vaguely negative about Biden, and very negative about Gabbard. I plan to support whichever Democrat gets the nomination. I align with most of the DSA platform. The issues I care about the most are universal healthcare, immigration reform/ an end to deportations of undocumented people, and queer liberation. I also do activism for increased accessibility on the NYC subway.

I think that Schultz is being very transparent that he is running to protect his vast wealth against the mildest redistribution to help provide health care and other benefits for people who need it. I think this is despicable. "Egotistical billionaire asshole" was the more polite version that I thought might actually get some airtime on tv.

beneaththeradar42 karma

What made you dislike Gabbard? For me it was when she went to Syria on a "fact finding mission" and came back with a boner for Assad.

andyratto102 karma

That's a big part of it. And the past homophobia.

Szabelan6 karma

Kamala Harris is a cop

andyratto5 karma

I know.

AssBlast690028 karma

So basically you go around yelling at people... because you're passionate and believe that you're right. Got it. Why is it worth the effort?

andyratto34 karma

There was substantial news coverage over the subsequent 48 hours that repeatedly played the clip of me calling Schultz an "egotistical billionaire asshole" It ran on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox. It ran on the morning shows, and the late night comedy shows (Colbert, Seth Myers, and The Daily Show). It was written about online, and in newspapers, and talked about on podcasts.

I think 30 seconds of yelling was worth it for millions of people to hear Schultz referred to as an "egotistical billionaire asshole". You are welcome to disagree.

flori11225527 karma

how are you doing?

andyratto52 karma

Great! You?

flori11225525 karma

mate

when you're good, i'm good too

andyratto51 karma

"Are you strong?"

"I am strong if you are strong."

"I am strong."

Modsarenotgay25 karma

Who is your preferred Democratic candidate for 2020, if you have any?

Also how do you feel about the fact that your presence alone was enough to trigger some right wing trolls to come brigade this AMA? lol

andyratto88 karma

Angering right wing trolls is a good sign that I'm doing something right.

artkup21 karma

How do you decide the maximum wealth someone can have before it gets expropriated and re-distributed?

andyratto52 karma

We can calculate how much money we will need for universal health care and to make sure no one is hungry etc. and then the billionaires can keep whatever is left over.

lazerstone17 karma

I’ve heard that you wear shorts in the winter. Is this true?

andyratto21 karma

Yes, it is true.

astronomertomm9 karma

As someone who worked for that B&N (Union Sq) as the Special Events manager, who a few short years ago would’ve run the night, I want to say fuck Shultz, fuck B&N, and thank you for your service. Honestly, you rule. My question: do you generally receive support for your actions?

andyratto9 karma

People really loved when I heckled Spicer. And the Schultz reaction has been unimaginable.

Jstar11118 karma

What happened AFTER you yelled? Did people boo you? Were you escorted out? Banned?

andyratto46 karma

I wasn’t focused on the audience while I was doing the heckling, but on the video of it that I watched I heard people booing. Some of it might be because people get upset anytime there is any kind of interruption, regardless of the content. But it was also people who had bought Schulz’s book and wanted to hear him speak, so I imagine a lot of them are fans.

A couple security guys grabbed me and pulled me back to the escalator, to head outside. One was very lightly guiding me in the right direction, and the other guy kept telling him not to touch me. They were being as polite and ginger as they could, under the circumstances.

There is a certain shared understanding, where they know the role that I am playing as a non-violent heckler who is willing to be taken out peacefully, and I know the role they are playing as security to get me out. And so that shared understanding allows it to move smoothly, after I’m done heckling. [This treatment is likely partly contingent on me being a white male.]

I have not been banned from Barnes and Noble. And this is my second time heckling someone there.

BeefHands7 karma

Are you a communist?

andyratto6 karma

No.

ShadowDimentio6 karma

Do you think Schultz will ever recover?

andyratto14 karma

No. And just to be sure, we should keep talking about how he is an egotistical billionaire asshole who is running for president with the sole purpose of protecting his massive wealth against even the most meager redistribution for the common good.

misterscientistman6 karma

I love a good heckling for the right people but I oftentimes wonder if it's purely cathartic. In your experience do you think heckling as a form of direct action can actually achieve anything? Do you think it's an effective way to raise the social cost of politicians' actions?

andyratto29 karma

There are least three kinds of heckling.

The first is when you are trying to drive the news cycle, or help get a message out to the masses. Often this can involve explicitly trying to counter or interfere with someone else’s media strategy. In this instance, Howard Schultz was attempting to launch a publicity campaign for a potential presidential run, and I wanted to interfere with that media strategy, and make a broader point about how billionaires are often egotistical assholes.

When the goal of heckling is to get a message out there, you only need one clear sentence, or one key phrase, to go viral to be successful.

The second kind of heckling is a shame-based approach, in order to deter some action from the person being heckled, or other people doing similar things. When certain odious politicians are out in public - going to the theater, or eating in a restaurant - and people shame them, that kind of heckling is about trying to deter them from some kind of specific action, or show there are social consequences for people who act in a particularly problematic away.

I think your question is mostly about the second style of heckling. I don’t do this myself, but it does seem to be effective.

The third kind of heckling is about trying to drown out a speaker so they can’t be heard at all, or to get an event cancelled. When I heckle, I’m not trying to do this. I know I’ll get out a thirty second sound bite and then security will drag me out, and Schultz will get to talk for two hours.

nojackla5 karma

Do you accept virtual high fives?

andyratto14 karma

Yes please.

StoneyCloser5 karma

Are you a communist?

andyratto15 karma

No.

Killgarth5 karma

My comment was removed as it was not a question

How does one aquire such big dick energy?

andyratto8 karma

Practice.

DangerGuy4 karma

You fuckin rock, man! Do security guards ever seem sympathetic or are they always assholes?

andyratto51 karma

Sympathetic.

hyperproliferative4 karma

I’m glad that you got it out-of-the-way in the beginning, which makes it much more uncomfortable for everyone to sit through the rest. My question is whether you have plans to follow any presidential exploratory campaign around Iowa or New Hampshire heckling everywhere he goes?

Could really tank him!

andyratto20 karma

I don't have any travel plans. I think people in those states should make their opinions known to the candidates who are seeking their votes.

Nowherenearfuture3 karma

Great work! who do you plan to heckle next?

andyratto40 karma

It's a secret.

IAmNewHereBeNice3 karma

What is the best pairing pf wine to go with the rich?

andyratto17 karma

When the revolution is at that point, we should probably pop some champagne.

BATIRONSHARK3 karma

First off you’re the type of person I want to be and thank you for saying what we all thought

So this might be controversial but is there any non politician you WOULD support for the presidential election ?

Cause personally i can think of a few celebrities/CEOs I do think would be a good candidate

not Schultz tho running as an independent is an asshole move

andyratto28 karma

It would be about their platforms, not who they are as individuals.

coh_phd_who3 karma

Just saying thanks for the work you do.
I'm supposed to ask a question, aren't I?

andyratto3 karma

I also accept compliments.

WhittmanC2 karma

Do you listen to any podcasts, if so which ones?

andyratto2 karma

Pod Save America; Left, Right, and Center; Never Not Funny; Reply All; The Weeds; Trumpcast; Yo, is This Racist?; Comedy Bang Bang.

Breadtome2 karma

Thank you so fucking much for doing that, it was awesome and the right thing.

Do you take requests?

andyratto16 karma

Sure. Who needs to be yelled at?

Ritthy2 karma

Me BB

andyratto2 karma

A/S/L?

stereoesque2 karma

Did Jordan Uhl's tweet give you the idea to stop by? Also, what happened afterward? Did you get dragged out?

https://twitter.com/JordanUhl/status/1089895529608331264

andyratto5 karma

No, I was already thinking about going. I was worried that his tweet would cause them to increase security.

After I started yelling the security people walked me back to the escalator and took me outside.

peraltadesperado1 karma

Any tips for those of us who only fantasize about heckling as effectively as yourself?

andyratto30 karma

Practice in advance. Stand in a room by yourself and image you're in a room with Trump or Pence or someone else. Think about what you want to say. You might only get one sentence out. Or two or three. Try saying it over and over again. Speak as loud as you can without screaming or yelling. Speak slowly enough that you can be heard clearly. Every time I've done this, I get a rush of adrenaline, and it's good to be prepared and to feel confident.

When you are in a place where you can heckle somebody, check if there are reporters nearby who can capture it, or if you need to record your own video. You can tell reporters in advance "off the record" that you're planning to yell something. Even better - bring a friend to record you! Figure out how close you can get, and where security is. If you can be in a crowd of people or sitting away from the aisles, that buys you the most time.

The best ways to heckle somebody is to say something that lots of other people are thinking, but that no one is saying out loud. Journalists jumped at the chance to amplify my message because they knew lots of people thought Schultz was an egotistical billionaire asshole.

enziarro1 karma

Have you had any contact with other prolific NYC political hecklers? Aron "Pieman" Kay comes to mind...

andyratto1 karma

I know a relative of his. I'm going to try to reach out. I just learned about him over the weekend.

shwag9451 karma

Do you think using Heckler's vetoes improves our democracy?

andyratto11 karma

It wasn’t a heckler’s veto. I spoke for about 40 seconds. Then Schultz got to talk for as long as he wanted. And he can go on any tv news show he wants. Billionaires in this country have no problem being heard. It’s the alternative viewpoints that need time and attention.

shwag9452 karma

I am talking about Heckler's vetoes in general. Not your individual actions. I however do respectfully disagree with you regarding your classification of your action.

andyratto3 karma

I think there are times and places and issues when deplatforming is important. I didn’t think it was necessary to silence Schultz.

monkeydeluxe1 karma

I call bullshit

You weren't there to heckle him for being a billionaire. You were there because he, like Tulsi Gabbard opposes the wars you feel are just.

You support the interventionist foreign policy of the US and Schultz and Gabbard oppose it.

Here's my question: Do you oppose the US destruction of Muslim nations?

andyratto18 karma

Yes, I oppose the US destruction of Muslim nations.

I don't even think that Schultz has a foreign policy.

AstraPerAspera-2 karma

How does having titanium balls feel?

Seriously, did anybody gave you shit in real life about that?

andyratto39 karma

Not yet. I mostly hang out with people who also like the idea of taking money from billionaires to make sure other people can have food and health care.

kayarisme-3 karma

I know I'm supposed to ask a question so: do you have any idea how much I love you for doing that? 👍

andyratto15 karma

A lot?

BobAvarkian-3 karma

Howard Schultz, as we now know, has almost no support at all from anyone. His decision to run seems to be more or less a vanity project of some kind, and if Trump at least have a base of racist old white dipshits, Schultz has no base from anyone. Do you think it is fair to accuse him of potentially splitting the vote when it doesn't seem like there will be anyone willing to vote for him?

andyratto46 karma

My objection to egotistical billionaire elites thinking they can run the world is independent of whether anyone actually supports Schultz. Schultz happens to be a particularly unpopular target, which makes it easier to make the argument that we should make billionaire a slur and expropriate their money to provide for the common good.

timbowen3 karma

Wrong. He is currently polling so well the GOP and DNC might have to let him on the debate stage.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/howard-schultz-internal-polling-a-bad-omen-for-democrats-worried-he-could-play-spoiler

SomewhatDickish14 karma

I call bull on that "internal polling". There is a 0% chance that even 17% of people polled had any idea who "Howard Schultz" was.

bkv3 karma

[deleted]

andyratto10 karma

Oops.

turntechgivehead-6 karma

How do I get to be as cool as you?

Thank you for standing up for us all. (Coming from a queer Jew on the left, you’re kinda just my guy)

andyratto31 karma

Go heckle billionaires. Or right wing politicians. People love that.

thehughjanus9 karma

next time ocasio cortez speaks in public i’ll be sure to bring a megaphone and yell at her and call her an idiot through it. i’m glad that you will condone this action, even though it will be done towards someone you likely don’t disagree with, as the freedom to act like a total fucking numbskull extends to me just as much as it does you

andyratto12 karma

I wouldn't mess with AOC. if I was you. Bud.

middlesuspect-18 karma

Why would anyone care what you think? You accomplished nothing other than being an egotistical asshole yourself. You’re one of those people who sits on the sidelines and just complains and complains, but offers no solutions because you’re either too much of a coward or lack the mental capacity. Yea, shit on a guy for announcing he’d like to run for President. What a jerk that guy is for exercising his rights as an American!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go fuck yourself.

andyratto33 karma

One solution is to begin expropriating wealth from billionaires until there aren't any more billionaires left.