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20 June 2011, 2:53 pm 4 Comments

GetEqual: Bachmann Glittered, Sparks Discussion About Non-Violent Protest

This post was submitted by getequal

Submission by Ian Finkenbinder of OneAngryQueer. Cross-posted with permission. View the original article here.

Here at Netroots, the gossip of the day is the the morning glitter-bombing of Michele Bachmann at the conservative blogger’s conference, RightOnline.  GoodAsYou includes video:

It’s hard to see, but the glittering happens at the :05 mark in the lower right corner.

Activists and bloggers at the conference seem sharply divided on the use of a physical “attack” such as glittering as a method of non-violent protest.  In essence: does tossing a handful of glitter on someone constitute a violent assault, and is it an example of effective action?

Some writers and activists present have gotten angry and denounced the act as a stunt that shames the progressive community, with Ryan Davis (who blogs with the Huffington Post) saying that GetEQUAL’s tactics (they organized the action) are counterproductive and largely outdated.

There is a question of whether or not glittering a political candidate can still be considered non-violent.  I spoke with Rachel Lang, the woman who glittered Michele Bachmann, and she had this to say:

“Ask Matthew Shepard about violence.  He knows what violence is.”  She dismissed the notion that glittering is in any way violent and bemoaned the hyper-criticism from some sections of the progressive movement.

There’s not much I need to add to that other than this: how can you posit that glittering is ineffective when it creates a discussion?  The point of direct action is rarely to impact an issue or candidate’s opinion on the spot.  The point is to demonstrate passion and outrage, two incredibly important tools in any progressive cause.  That’s why I’m OneAngryQueer– without anger to motivate the movement over outrageous transgressions against the American people, how do we effect change?


I asked Dan Choi what he felt about glittering and this is how he responded:

Glitter makes anything more joyous, celebratory and fabulous. The gentle “Glitter-Bombings” we have seen recently are non-harmful, non-threatening, non-lethal and non-violent manifestations of immense fabulousness. Furthermore, it is an organic and heartfelt statement that increases the joy of all people endowed with a sense of humor. It also brings attention to the dearth of joy in the hearts of the offended parties. I hope we see more of it, for in these times we should share laughter more often, not less often, and I look heartily look forward to any attempts by my critics to glitter-bomb me, so long as they also agree to share a drink with me. Fabulousness would be had by all.

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  • Chris said:

    I support the cause. Fully.

    But, throwing glitter on people amounts to assault.
    That, and, it’s childish.

    You’re degrading the valuable efforts of thousands and thousands of people who support gay rights with these immature outbursts.

    Let’s keep it civil. Rise above the crap our opponents throw around.
    Let’s outclass them in every way.

    Doing this, you dumb down the issue to silly sound-bytes worthy of a TEA Bagger protest sign.

    Let’s try this another way:
    Decency and civil, informed discussion.


  • Withers: Glitterati explain the movement | Gay News from Gay Agenda - GayAgenda.com said:

    [...] official. Glittering politicians, with questionable records on LGBT issues, is a mini movement. Get Equal has an article about recent confetti showers on presidential [...]

  • Withers: Glitterati explain the movement | LGBT Human Rights. Gay News, Entertainment, Travel said:

    [...] official. Glittering politicians, with questionable records on LGBT issues, is a mini movement. Get Equal has an article about recent confetti showers on presidential [...]

  • Ralph said:

    Most Teabaggers are not queers or fags