So, the Portland protests aren’t mine to lead, but I am a ConLaw nerd and so they do feel personal in their own way and have since the first day I heard cops had used their powers to murder George Floyd.
That has lead me to fantasize about what I would do if I were to run these protests and I came up with …
… glitter. People tend to believe that the things they aren’t witnessing with their own eyes don’t affect them. But if your neighbor’s best friend gets killed by the cops, are they going to ask you to cat sit while they head out of town to the funeral? You just never know how this shit will impact you and it is ABSOLUTELY true that a once the government decides it can abridge the freedom of one person that that becomes a precedent for abridging the freedoms of all people.
So how do we communicate the transitive property of abuse of power, how it creeps through society, largely unnoticed, creating a small mess of society at first but leading to bigger and bigger messes that eventually get out of control?
Am I crazy or is that a perfect description of glitter?
So if everyone scattered glitter on the ground anywhere a fascist or racist or sexist cop walks, not throwing the glitter on them, not committing assault, but just throwing it where they walk to say: this ground has been affected, however momentarily, by authoritarian assaults on our communities.
Sure, maybe it’s not a big deal in front of the courthouse. There’s already graffiti and leftovers from flash-bangs and fireworks and tear gas canisters. But those cops will track it back to their hotel, and the people assaulted will track it over to their friends’ homes. And the longer we go on with more and more assaults and more and more people spreading the glitter, the more that shit just gets fucking everywhere, like racism, like violence, like corruption, like abuse of power. And eventually someone will track that shit right out of the airport and into their taxi and sure enough, all of Nunes’ district is getting covered in glitter when they thought they had no connection to Portland.
And all of Iowa sees glitter on their way to vote on Joni Ernst’s race. And Matt Gaetz’ district is affected. It’s as spreadable as coronavirus, but sparkly, happily uplifting. Because yes, anywhere touched by that glitter has been touched by violence and racism and authoritarianism, but it has also been touched by the activists who originally threw that glitter. It’s touched by their determination, their liberators intent, their dreams.
Soon everywhere in the US would be touched by activists’ hope.
And sure, we’d have to find a manufacturer who can handle producing 48 tons of biodegradable glitter daily, but just imagine it. We could throw red, black, and green glitter in Portland. Somewhere else they could throw baby blue, pink and lavender after a trans person is unjustly jailed. Throw handfuls of it everywhere white supremacy walks and make the Fox hosts scrub their clothes clean of sparkling Black Pride before they report from their radiant desks that racism doesn’t exist.
Fucking glitter. My dreams are soaking in it.