Remember when Newt Gingrich got glitter-bombed for his anti-gay politics? CODEPINK just did the same thing to GOP Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty at his book signing in San Francisco. We questioned the good of glitter bombing the first time it happened, but is it time to reconsider it as a form of effective protest?
In regards to Pawlenty, the Code Pink ladies said, “If elected, [the] GOP Presidential candidate said he would reinstate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (the ban on openly-gay service). He vetoed a bill in Minnesota that would have allowed surving partners of same-sex couples the right to decide what to do with their loved one’s deceased body, because he believes in ‘traditional marriage.’”
Glitter bombing has a few key aspects: surprise, public humiliation of a political figure, disruption of a PR event, activists audibly announcing their cause, and of course the requisite YouTube video that shows the prank in action.
It’s always great to see anti-gay politicos get a figurative “pie to the face” Anita Bryan style, but how long does the resulting humiliation and the political statement really last? While glitter bomb videos might get some internet play, they also feature the protestor’s short-lived glory getting stopped by security while the protestor gets led away.
So far the two glitter bombers we’ve seen have memorized their shouted political statements but they also provide a press statement or interview to explain the rationale behind their actual bombing.
Unfortunately, Code Pink’s video doesn’t really capture Pawlenty’s reaction as well as the Gingrich video did—cops and PR handlers can create a shaky situation for handheld cammers who need to get to safety before an officer tries to harm their footage. Also, it’s important for the videographer to follow the protestors as they’re led away so they can capture any potential mis-treatment of the protestor and their loud screams as part of the narrative.
That being said, we’re still not sure that glitter bombing actually accomplishes much. But we will say this much: it’s a hell of a lot more fun than just writing a letter.