Six great shoe-throwing moments from recent history

IT may not have seemed like it at the time, but Byron Shire councillor Rose Wanchap was joining a long tradition of protest shoe-throwing when she lobbed her loafers at this week's council meeting.


Shoes fly as Byron Shire Council meeting gets ugly

A Rose by any other name wouldn't fling footware so sweetly

Here are a few of the better recent examples we found in a quick trawl of Google and Wikipedia:

1. DECEMBER 2008: George W dodges shoes thrown by journalist


Throwee: George W Bush; Thrower: Muntadhar al-Zaidi

Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi shouted "This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog" as he threw two shoes at then US President George W Bush. 

According to his Wikipedia entry, al-Zaidi had been kidnapped "by unknown assailants" in Baghdad the previous year.

He was arrested and jailed for three years for assaulting a foreign head of state, although that sentence was later reduced to one year.

According to Wikipedia, US and Iraqi forces had to destroy al-Zaidi's shoes to prevent them from being used as museum exhibits.

2. FEBRUARY 2013: One Direction member hit in the ghoulies by flying shoe at concert.


Throwee: Harry Styles; Thrower: Unknown fan

It was the winter of 2013 in Glasgow and One Direction was playing a concert as part of their Take Me Home Tour.

A fan threw a shoe onto the stage and Harry Styles picked it up, asking why they only got the one. The second shoe quickly followed, much to Styles' regret.

3. JULY 2012: Hillary Clinton's first shoe-throwing incident

Throwee: Hillary Clinton; Thrower: Egyptian protesters

Then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on an official visit to Egypt when her motorcade was confronted by protesters.

Chanting "Monica, Monica", a reference to the Monica Lewinsky scandal involving her husband, former President Bill Clinton, the motorcade was pelted with a variety of objects, including shoes.

4. SEPTEMBER 2010: Blair's Dublin book signing gets off on wrong foot

Throwee: Tony Blair; Thrower: Anti-war protesters

FORMER British Prime Minister Tony Blair just wanted to sign a few copies of his memoirs, but protesters angry at the UK's involvement in the Middle East and Afghanistan conflicts had different ideas.

As the former PM emerged from his car, protesters threw a shoe, an egg and a few other items, none of which managed to actually hit Mr Blair.

5. OCTOBER 2010: John Howard on Q&A

Throwee: John Howard; Thrower: Pete Gray

ACTIVIST Pete Gray got to ask his question about the Iraq war on the ABC's Q&A show but was not happy with the answer former Prime Minister John Howard gave him. When told he was not allowed a follow-up question he became so frustrated he threw his shoe at Mr Howard.

The incident even appeared to surprise Mr Gray, who later described it as being out of character, although he also remained unrepentant. He passed away from cancer a few months after the incident.

6. APRIL 10, 2014: Hillary's second shoe-throwing incident

Throwee: Hillary Clinton, Thrower: Alison Ernst 

Ms Clinton had to dodge a black-and-orange Puma cleat thrown by a member of the audience at a recycling conference at Las Vegas. The shoe thrower, Alison Ernst was later arrested by US Federal police.

It's not really clear why Ernst threw her shoe, but that's not the weird bit. The strangest thing was that the shoe did not come from Ernst's foot, but from her handbag.

Want more? Wikepedia has an extensive list of shoe-throwing incidents from around the world, which we have borrowed freely from.

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