A group of environmental activists superglued themselves to the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday in protest of Congress’ failure to formally acknowledge the planet’s climate emergency.
Extinction Rebellion, an organization known for employing civil disobedience to protest climate change, used Gorilla Glue to secure protesters’ hands onto the walls inside the tunnel that connects the House office buildings to the U.S. Capitol itself. The demonstration was meant to bring awareness to legislation declaring that the climate emergency demands a “national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization of the resources and labor” of the United States.
The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), was introduced earlier in July, but has stalled in both the House and the Senate. Extinction Rebellion is demanding that the legislation advances to the chambers’ respective floors for a vote.
“What we wanted to do was disrupt business as usual in the lives of the congresspeople as they headed to the Capitol for votes at 6:30,” Kaela Bamberger, a spokeswoman for Extinction Rebellion’s D.C. chapter, told The Washington Post.
“We were prepared with [an acetone solution to dissolve the glue] if the police had started forcing them off,” Bamberger added.
Extinction Rebellion posted a video showing more than 20 minutes of the protest and ultimate arrest of the demonstrators.
“We’re blocking this doorway because Congress isn’t taking the climate crisis seriously,” an activist was heard explaining on the video.
Although the protestors instructed passersby to go outside and around the building if they wanted to get to the other side of the human chain, many individuals ducked under their glued limbs in order to get through the doorway.
“If you respect the climate emergency, you will go around,” one activist told a group of people trying to get through to the other side.
“I guess not,” a second activist replied after the crowd passed under their arms.
The protest inconvenienced a number of people, including Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX), who was on his way to vote when he was made aware of the demonstration.
“It was silly, it was borderline comical,” Gooden told The Daily Wire, before adding that he simply went “between a gentleman’s hand and foot and said ‘excuse me’ both times” in order to get through.
“In the future, I would have just let them remain self-glued to the walls when everyone goes home for the night,” the Texas congressman continued. “See who has the stamina to stick with it.”
Several Democratic lawmakers, however, commended the protest. Ocasio-Cortez, as well as her fellow “Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), were among the members of Congress who thanked the activists, reported The Washington Post.
The incident resulted in 17 people arrested — all of whom were charged with “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding,” confirmed Eva Malecki, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Capitol Police. Fifteen of those arrested were also charged with defacing public property, while eight were charged with resisting arrest.
Extinction Rebellion is based in the United Kingdom and refers to itself as an “international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social collapse,” according to the organization’s website.
Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment.