Protesters have traditionally gone to extreme lengths to get their messages across, and there have often been some ingenious methods of attracting attention. A lot of the time, these activists want to remain in a place for a certain period without authorities removing them.

This was the case recently in the UK when a group of Extinction Rebellion protesters glued themselves around the Speaker’s chair in the House of Commons. It was a clever use of the sticky substance, but it’s hard to say whether the protest itself will force the government into action.

Sticky Situation in the House of Commons

Extinction Rebellion was founded in 2018 by Roger Hallam, Gail Bradbrook, Tamsin Omond, Simon Bramwell, Clare Farrell, and Robin Boardman-Pattinson. The aim of the movement is to force the government to act and reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change in the future. There’s no doubt that they are fighting for a worthy cause, but they have often been described as fanatics in the past because their approaches tend to be extreme.

The latest public show from the XR team came in the House of Commons in London. Eight members managed to get into the meeting place of the British parliament, and they used superglue to chain themselves together around the Speaker’s chair. They claim that the political system in the country is “out of date and out of touch,” meaning that it is ill-prepared to deal with the environmental issues on the horizon. They want to have citizens assemblies in which more control over the future of the world is in the hands of the people.

The group of protesters didn’t cause any damage to the Speaker’s chair and simply used the super glue on themselves to make it more difficult for authorities to remove them. They were later arrested and held in custody at central London police stations.

Superglue Has More Practical Uses

This is not the most practical use of superglue, and it is certainly not recommended by the companies that make the product. Indeed, using glue on skin can cause some serious damage because it is extremely powerful and effective. Hopefully, the antics of the XR members in the House of Commons won’t promote the misuse of this household item.

The most common uses for superglue include fixing furniture around the house and sticking plasterboard to the wall. It’s also often used for repairing toys and is considered a plastics specialist. Indeed, superglue can bond all kinds of plastics, including polyethylene. The extra strong bonding was not designed for human use, but if it does get on your skin, you can use hand lotion or mineral oil to remove it.

What Other Methods Have Protesters Used in the Past?

Protesters have used a wide range of approaches to make it hard for people to extract them from a campaign site over the years. One of the most common options is for them to chain themselves to railings, and this was famously done in 1908 by suffragettes Edith New and Olivia Smith outside No. 10 Downing Street.

More recently, zip ties have become a more common implement for campaigners. In the 2021-22 soccer season, a protester managed to get onto the pitch of a Premier League game. They used a zip tie to attach themselves to the goalposts and this made it difficult for authorities to remove them.

The recent use of superglue among climate activists is unlikely to lead to a trend of protestors using the household DIY item. It’s not recommended for human use, and these people would probably be better off opting for zip ties next time.