When Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi hurled his shoes at President Bush during a Dec. 14 press conference, he was doing what many frustrated Iraqis wished they could. Al-Zaidi's act of defiance made him, at least temporarily, a national hero for many Iraqis, with crowds gathering in the streets of Baghdad to celebrate his very pointed insult. (See "Aftermath of a Shoe Attack.")
About three days after the now infamous press conference, two New Yorkers launched a website called Thank You for Throwing Your Shoe to give other frustrated critics of the war a metaphorical chance to raise a shoe at President Bush. The site encourages visitors to add their own images to a simple gallery of photographs showing people holding up their potential footwear projectiles to protest the Iraq war. One of the site's creators, reached by phone, did not want to divulge his name "This is a photo project, not a political campaign, and we value our privacy" but explained that he and a co-creator sent a few dozen e-mails about the site to friends around the world, and within days, news of the site spread, with several hundred photos collected and published within the first 36 hours.
The co-creator says he hopes people see the website as "just a fun-natured project" through which people are "able to express their outrage over the war and what has transpired in Iraq because of the Bush Administration ... We don't condone addressing your adversaries in any violent means, but in this case, when we feel an unjust war was waged, we certainly are empathetic toward the journalist who expressed his anger and frustration in this way." (A disclaimer on the site says, "We do not condone shoe-throwing, but we prefer it to war.")
Photos on the site have come from cities all over the world, including London, Beijing, Mumbai, Toronto, Brooklyn, N.Y., and even Wasilla, Alaska.