Glitter bombing

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Vermin Supreme glitter bombs Randall Terry at Saint Anselm College.

Glitter bombing is an act of protest in which activists throw glitter on people at public events.[1] Glitter bombers have frequently been motivated by, though not limited to, their targets' rape apologism or opposition to same-sex marriage.[2]

Some legal officials argue glitter bombing is assault and battery. It is possible for glitter to enter the eyes or nose and cause damage to the cornea or other soft tissues potentially irritating them or leading to infection,[3] depending on the size of the glitter. Whether a prosecutor would pursue the charges depends on a number of factors.[4][vague]

Notable incidents[edit]

Recipient Date Location Details
Newt Gingrich May 17, 2011 Minneapolis, Minnesota The former Speaker of the House of Representatives and his wife Callista were showered with glitter at a book signing. Nick Espinosa dumped a full box of glitter on them, shouting "Stop the hate!" and "Feel the rainbow, Newt!"[5][6][7]
Tim Pawlenty June 16, 2011 San Francisco, California Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, was showered with glitter and pink feathers by Nancy Mancias and Chelsea Byers, two members of the anti-war coalition CODEPINK. He was targeted at a book signing in San Francisco, with the perpetrators stating that Pawlenty's "homophobic attitude" and opposition to recognition of same-sex unions in Minnesota motivated them.[6]
Michele Bachmann June 18, 2011 Minneapolis, Minnesota Bachmann, a member of the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota, was glitter bombed in Minneapolis by Rachel E. B. Lang with the support of the LGBT-interest organizations GetEQUAL and COLAGE. Lang was motivated by Bachmann's support for a ministry that opposes LGBT issues.[8]
Bachmann & Associates July 21, 2011 Lake Elmo, Minnesota Michele Bachmann's husband Marcus Bachmann is a therapist whose clinical practices, in particular his practicing reparative therapy designed to change the sexual orientation of patients from homosexual to heterosexual, drew scrutiny during his wife's 2012 presidential campaign. Activists dressed as barbarians (a reference to a comment by Marcus Bachmann analogizing homosexuality to barbarism) glitter bombed Bachmann & Associates' Minnesota office to protest the Bachmanns' stances on LGBT issues.[9]
Minnesota for Marriage September 4, 2011 Falcon Heights, Minnesota Minnesota for Marriage, an organization that favors passing a constitutional amendment disallowing same-sex marriage in Minnesota, was glitter bombed at the 2011 Minnesota State Fair by protesters opposed to the amendment.[10]
Karl Rove October 7, 2011 Bloomington, Minnesota During a book signing, Rove was glitter bombed by Ben Egerman. No charges were filed.[11]
Erik Paulsen October 7, 2011 Bloomington, Minnesota Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN) who was receiving a "Friend of the Family" award for his efforts to place a constitution amendment to ban marriages for same-sex couples on the ballot in Minnesota for 2012. Michael Cahil shouted "You're no friend to my family!" as he showered Paulsen with glitter.[11]
Dan Savage November 1, 2011 Eugene, Oregon Savage was glitter bombed on November 1, 2011, at the University of Oregon, Eugene. The glitter bomber said they were a representative of the "Dan Savage Welcoming Committee" and that Savage was a "transphobe" as well as "racist and misogynist and a rape-apologist".[12]
November 9, 2011 Irvine, California Savage was hit again on November 9, 2011, at a talk at the University of California, Irvine, with one bomber saying Savage was transphobic.[13]
January 21, 2012 Vancouver, British Columbia Queer activists glitter bombed Dan Savage on January 21, 2012, on the way into his "It Gets Better" show at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver. His response was "Oh no! Not again!" The group said the bombing was in response to "ableism, ageism, classism, misogyny, racism, rape-apologism, serophobia, sizism, transphobia and, oh yeah, that column".[14]
Randall Terry December 19, 2011 Goffstown, New Hampshire Terry was glitter bombed by fellow presidential candidate Vermin Supreme during a lesser-known candidates forum at Saint Anselm College.[15] Vermin said that Jesus told him to turn Terry gay.[16]
Rick Santorum January 21, 2012 Charleston, South Carolina Santorum's first glitter bombing was at his South Carolina primary headquarters over the January 21–22 weekend of 2012. Occupy Charleston claimed credit for the incident. The protesters were forcibly removed after protesting Santorum's stance on LGBT+ rights.[17]
January 23, 2012 Lady Lake, Florida During a Florida presidential primary stop in Lady Lake, Florida, he was showered by a glitter bomb from protesters.[18]
Joe Lieberman January 28, 2012 Washington, D.C. Senator Lieberman was glitter bombed by protesters with Occupy D.C. when he attended the Alfalfa Club's annual banquet.[citation needed]
Mitt Romney February 1, 2012 Eagan, Minnesota Romney was glitter bombed at a rally in Eagan, Minnesota. His response was to smile and proclaim it was confetti for winning Florida.[19]
Rick Santorum February 2, 2012 Columbia, Missouri Santorum was again glitter bombed while at a presidential primary campaign event that also featured Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.[20]
Ron Paul February 6, 2012 Minneapolis, Minnesota Ron Paul was glitter bombed at a rally in the Minneapolis Convention Center by a protester who shouted "Housing and health care are human rights not privileges!"[21]
Mitt Romney February 7, 2012 Denver, Colorado Romney was glitter bombed again following a speech during the Colorado Primary. A protester attempted to glitter bomb Romney, but was quickly caught and removed by Secret Service agents, and he pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace in April 2012.[22]
Rick Santorum February 13, 2012 Tacoma, Washington During a presidential primary stop in Tacoma, Washington, Santorum was covered in a "blizzard of glitter".[23]
February 15, 2012 Fargo, North Dakota Santorum made a presidential primary stop in Fargo, North Dakota, and was showered by a glitter bomb in front of a packed crowd at a Holiday Inn. He launched into his speech seemingly unfazed by the event.[24]
Germaine Greer March 14, 2012 Wellington, New Zealand Germaine Greer was glitter bombed at a book signing at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand. A group known as the Queer Avengers was responsible. They were protesting Greer's views on transgender rights, which the group claims are transphobic.[25]
Lindsay Lohan March 18, 2013 Los Angeles, California Lindsay Lohan and her media swarm were showered with gold glitter as she walked to the Los Angeles Court house on March 18, 2013. The woman suspected of throwing the glitter was not arrested and there was no apparent motive.[26]
Jair Bolsonaro January 26, 2016 Porto Alegre, Brazil Glitter was thrown at Jair Bolsonaro while giving an interview at the Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Sul, while also being called a 'fascist', 'racist' and 'homophobe'.
George Galloway November 22, 2016 Aberdeen, Scotland George Galloway was covered in glitter as he attempted to give a talk to the University of Aberdeen Politics & International Relations Society. A group of students carried out the protest citing Galloway's alleged rape apologism and antisemitism.[27]
Richard B. Spencer April 9, 2017 Washington, D.C. Richard B. Spencer was glitter bombed while leading a protest against the 2017 Shayrat missile strike. Counter-protesters called him a "Nazi snowflake" and glitter bombed him. It was unclear if anyone was arrested in relation to the glitter-bombing.[28]
Super Happy Fun America July 1, 2019 Boston, Massachusetts Samson Racioppi, John Hugo, and a third member of Super Happy Fun America, the organizers of a straight pride parade in Boston, were sent postal glitter bombs on July 1, 2019. The letters did not have return addresses and contained Bible verses inside of them. They were reported as suspicious packages, prompting responses from the Massachusetts State Police's bomb squad and the FBI.[29]

Postal glitter bombs[edit]

Unwanted junk mail returned to sender as a glitter bomb

Glitter bombs can be sent through the post, so that glitter falls from an envelope or is forcefully ejected from a larger, spring-loaded package when opened.[30] went viral in January 2015 as the first postal glitter bomb service to send envelopes filled with glitter to recipients.[31] Shortly after, a video of a spring loaded glitter bomb package from went viral that demonstrated a postal glitter bomb in action for the first time.[32] There are now many other websites and services offering postal glitter bombs.

In media[edit]


Youtube content-creator Mark Rober built a glitter bomb that was combined with regular emissions of an aerosolized fart odor to trap package thieves. He used 4 phones with cameras and a GPS device so he could record the thief, upload the data, and recover the package. He then sent about 10 out and showed the footage from the packages on his Youtube channel.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vinciguerra, Thomas (August 27, 2011). Glittering Rage. The New York Times
  2. ^ Moody, Chris (June 20, 2011). "'Glitter advocates' plot their next victim". Yahoo! News. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Kurtz, Judy (February 8, 2012). "Eye doctor warns of dangers of political protest on gay marriage". The Hill.
  4. ^ van der Pool, Lisa (September 2, 2011). "All that glitters is not gold, in the eyes of legal system". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  5. ^ "US presidential candidate Newt Gingrich showered in glitter". BBC News. May 18, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Roberts, Christine (June 17, 2011). "Protesters glitter bomb GOP candidate Tim Pawlenty". Daily News. Archived from the original on June 20, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Espinosa, Nick (October 3, 2011). "The Glitter Bomber Speaks: A New Generation Feels the Rainbow". Huffington Post.
  8. ^ "Bachmann joins the glitteratti". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. June 18, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  9. ^ Grindley, Lucas (July 21, 2011). ""Barbarians" Raid Marcus Bachmann's Office". The Advocate. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  10. ^ Buchta, Jim (September 6, 2011). "Glitter rains down on group backing marriage amendment". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Michelson, Noah (October 7, 2011). "Glitterati, LGBT+ Rights Activists, Glitter Bomb Karl Rove And Republican Minnesota Congressman Erik Paulsen". The Huffington Post.
  12. ^ Hill-Meyer, Tobi (November 2, 2011). "Dan Savage Gets Glitter Bombed for Being Transphobic". The Bilerico Project. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  13. ^ Hill-Meyer, Tobi (November 14, 2011). "Dan Savage Glittered Again, Student Arrested". The Bilerico Project. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  14. ^ Oommen, Isaac (January 21, 2012). "Dan Savage Glitterbombed". Vancouver Media Co-op. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  15. ^ "In New Hampshire, fringe candidates get their moment". Reuters. December 20, 2011. Archived from the original on December 21, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  16. ^ Ríos, Simón (December 20, 2011). "Lesser-known candidates bring colorful campaigns to St. Anselm". New Hampshire Union Leader. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  17. ^ "Rick Santorum Gets Glitter Bombed, Again". MSNBC. January 24, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012.[dead link]
  18. ^ "Santorum recipient of another 'glitter bomb'". January 23, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  19. ^ "Mitt Romney glitter bombed, calls it confetti". CBS News. February 1, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  20. ^ "Fulton, Columbia crowds hear Santorum's views". Columbia Tribune. February 4, 2012. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  21. ^ "Ron Paul glitterbombed at Minneapolis Convention Center". February 6, 2012. Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  22. ^ 04/13/2012 8:41 am Updated: 04/13/2012 9:01 am (2012-04-13). "Mitt Romney Glitter Bomb: Peter Smith Pleads Guilty To Disturbing The Peace For Glitter Bombing After Colo. Caucus (PHOTOS, VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-12-31.
  23. ^ "Santorum in Tacoma: Protesters and a Glitter Bomb". February 14, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  24. ^ "Even In Fargo, Rick Santorum Cannot Escape The Glitter Bomb". February 15, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  25. ^ "Germaine Greer 'glitter bombed' by Queer Avengers". The New Zealand Herald. March 14, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
  26. ^ "This Lindsay Lohan glitter bomb photo is the best glitter bomb photo ever – and it's not even close". RYOT. March 8, 2013. Archived from the original on March 21, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  27. ^ "Watch moment George Galloway 'is attacked with glitter during scuffle with student protesters at university'". Daily Mirror. November 22, 2016.
  28. ^ Francis, Nathan (April 9, 2017). "Richard Spencer Attacked: Alt Right Leader Just Punched In The Face Again, Then Glitter Bombed". Inquisitr. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  29. ^ "Police: Bomb Squad Responded After Letters With Glitter Sent To 'Straight Pride' Parade Organizers". WBZ-TV. July 1, 2019. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  30. ^ Towe, Peter (18 January 2015). "Son sends dad spring-loaded glitter bomb". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  31. ^ McGinn, Dave. "Glitter bombs: more whimper than an evil bang". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  32. ^ Fleishman, Cooper. "Here's what it's actually like to open a glitter bomb". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  33. ^ "Glitter bomb engineer exacts revenge on parcel thieves". 20 December 2018.

Further reading[edit]