Bill Gates Hit with Pie

views updated

Bill Gates Hit with Pie


By: The Associated Press

Date: February 4, 1998

Source: AP Images.

About the Photographer: The Associated Press is a worldwide news agency based in New York that works with thousands of journalists, photographers, and videographers around the world.


Bill Gates is the world's wealthiest man and the founder and director of Microsoft, one of the world's largest companies. With Microsoft operating systems used in a majority of computers around the world, Gates has amassed a fortune of over $40 billion. He donates hundreds of millions of dollars each year to thousands of charities, which helped him (along with his wife Melinda and pop star Bono) earn Time magazine's People of the Year award in 2005. Gate's wealth has made him a highly publicized figure and the target of anti-globalization and anti-capitalist attacks.

Microsoft's influence is felt all over the globe, but this dominance has made it vulnerable to lawsuits charging that the company has attempted to monopolize the world of personal computing. In addition, many of the company's harshest critics are dedicated computer users and programmers who accuse Microsoft of placing profits over quality and releasing products before errors are fully corrected.

One of the factors that drive protests against Bill Gates and Microsoft is the fear of globalization, which opponents claim allows large international companies to drive smaller competitors out of business. Protestors believe that globalization has the potential to destroy local economies and concentrate profits in the hands of a few international corporations.



See primary source image.


Neil Godin, arrested in the pie incident, is a self-described "comical terrorist" and anarchist who has been involved with similar attacks for more than thirty years. While making an effort to avoid actually injuring his targets, Gordon seeks out high-profile personalities at public occasions to humiliate them, preferably generating headlines and images that ricochet around the world, gaining publicity for his anarchist cause.

Godin selected Gates because he held that Gates was a person of power and that exposing him would help spread the message of the anarchists, who oppose most forms of power or rule. Although Gates is a businessman and not an elected political figure, many view him as an influential world leader because of his company's economic power. Critics of globalization feel that international corporations dictate policies in the same manner as sovereign governments.



Boyd, Aaron. Smart Money; The Story of Bill Gates. Greensboro, NC: Morgan Reynolds, Inc., 2004.

Web sites

Microsoft. "Bill Gates." < billgates/default.asp> (accessed May 25, 2006).

Institute for Anarchist Studies. <> (accessed May 25, 2006).