Thursday, February 9, 2012

glitter bomb student faces charges

A Colorado student faced misdemeanor charges on Wednesday for flinging glitter toward Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney in an increasingly frequent protest act some commentators say should be subject to prosecution.

The practice of "glitter bombing" has mainly been the domain of gay rights activists targeting Republican politicians and other public figures who oppose same-sex marriage.

But University of Colorado Boulder student Peter Smith, 20, told Reuters he threw glitter at Romney after the candidate's speech in Colorado on Tuesday to protest against his "general political philosophy," and not only his stance on gay marriage.

ACNN video of the incident shows Romney shaking hands with supporters in an auditorium when the glitter is thrown at him and Secret Service agentsusher him away.

Smith was escorted out by other agents and local authorities, Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie said.

Denver authorities detained Smith for questioning on Tuesday night, and he was cited on misdemeanor charges of creating a disturbance, throwing a missile and an unlawful act on school property, Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said.

Smith, who faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted, said he has no regrets about his protest.

Republican presidential contendersNewt Gingrich,Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have all been targeted with glitter, although authorities could not immediately say if anyone had previously been charged over the glitter-throwing.

When former Republican candidateTim Pawlenty was struck with glitter in June 2011, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican, argued in an appearance on cable network Fox Business that "people ought to be arrested" for throwing glitter, which he called "an assault."

Huckabee added, "You've got to draw the line."

Ogilvie would not say if the Secret Service sees glitter bombing as a pressing problem. "We want to make sure everything is a safe and secure environment," he said.

But Smith said agents talked to him about his protest action. "They just mentioned this act was an issue that they've been trying to deal with more and more," he said.


  1. Glitter is a missile. Getting it thrown at you is assault. What the hell am I reading. Gonna arrest a bunch of grade schoolers because they're assaulting their peers with sparkly projectiles while in art class?

  2. It is an affront and given the number of politicians that have been stabbed or shot it is in their best interest to feel safe in their own personal space. All of that aside, it's juvenile and really not the best way to affect change. You aren't going to hit them with glitter and suddenly they go "oh, those gay people love each other and that is what is important in a relationship not the gender of the couple! How did I miss that before?"

  3. I kind of like the idea of throwing glitter. It's harmless (and shouldn't be able to get you arrested), and yet it can irritate one to no end.