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We Interviewed Glue Girl

Alicia Santurio, aka Glue Girl, pasted herself to the court during Tuesday's home Timberwolves game to protest alleged animal cruelty.

Direct Action Everywhere (DxE)

“We’ve been told it was a protest… she glued herself,” stammered TNT announcer Kevin Harlan during Tuesday’s Timberwolves vs. Clippers play-in game at Target Center. “I’ve never seen that before.”

“This is a first for me,” added befuddled analyst/Basketball Hall of Famer Reggie Miller, “and I’ve been around the game close to 30 years.”

In the clear light of day, we’ve gleaned a lot more insight into what the hell happened, glue-wise, during the Wolves’ exhilarating 109-104 victory over L.A.

The woman, who the internet immediately dubbed “Glue Girl,” is Alicia Santurio, a protestor whose T-shirt read “GLEN TAYLOR ROASTS ANIMALS ALIVE.” Taylor, the billionaire owner of the Timberwolves since 1994, is also a major player in the egg game. Santurio’s animal-rights group, Direct Action Everywhere, used the stunt to draw attention to alleged animal cruelty abuses committed by Rembrandt Enterprises, Taylor’s Iowa-based egg company.

Click here to read horrific findings from the DxE investigation into Rembrandt and, if you wish, watch disturbing video of the mass slaughter of chickens suffering from avian flu, which has become a nationwide crisis. Following a bird flu outbreak, Rembrandt killed 5.3 million birds back in March, according to the USDA. Its chosen killing method—known as ventilation shutdown plus or VSD-plus—is highly controversial.

Rembrandt didn’t respond to Racket’s request for comment. (Full disclosure: All four Racket owners were once workers at City Pages, the alt-weekly that was shut down in 2020 by Taylor’s Star Tribune Media Co.)

Unsurprisingly, it was much easier getting Santurio on the phone. Here’s our full conversation with Glue Girl.

Take me from kinda the genesis of this idea, and we’ll go from there.

Our group, Direct Action Everywhere, just released an investigation yesterday into Rembrandt Farms, which is Glen Taylor’s factory farm in Iowa. It had an avian influenza outbreak, so investigators went to see how they’re mass slaughtering all the chickens. We found out they’re using ventilation shutdown, which we’ve exposed in the past, and it’s a particularly horrific way of killing animals. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that. 

I read the report you guys issued. It sounds horrific. 

Unfortunately, when we release these investigations it’s hard to get enough press attention, enough eyes on it. Luckily, the Timberwolves were playing and we decided that we’d try to superglue our hand down on the court, and hopefully it’ll get people talking and spreading the message. That’s kind of what happened. 

Are you a Twin Cities resident? 

No, I actually live in California. 

Where in California? 

In the Bay Area. 

Gotcha. So how’d you get chosen for this protest? 

I kind of volunteered, and I was a little hesitant.

Did you buy a ticket to the game? 

Yeah, and then I was just kind of watching the security and the cops, to just figure out: OK, who do I think I have the best chance of walking by and getting to the court? As I was walking by I put the glue on my hand, to give it a tiny head start on drying, and it was actually really surprisingly easy to walk onto the court. I just put my hand down. Everyone was really kind all around me until the woman police officer came. She did not care that I was glued down and was like, “Yank her up! Just pull her up!” 

A lot of people were trying to play gotcha, like, “Ha ha, glue is made from hooves.” I’m guessing this was an animal-free glue you used?

Yes. Most glues nowadays are animal-free. 

So, were you stuck at all? 

My hand was stuck, but when I got pulled off it was just a little sore and a little raw. I think, maybe, whatever’s on the court maybe helped? Like it didn’t stick as much as if it was on a different surface. Luckily, yeah, my skin didn’t rip off much.

What’d security do with you? 

They took me downstairs to an office, and they just asked why I was there. I tried to not say too much, but I let them read my shirt. They took a picture of my shirt. Then they just cited me for trespassing, and I can’t go back to the Target Center for a year or I’ll get charged with misdemeanor trespassing. 

Credit: Direct Action Everywhere
Santurio with fellow activist Matt Johnson outside Target Center. She’s holding the trespassing complaint.

And you’re not a Timberwolves fan, so that shouldn’t be an issue? 

Right. This was only the second basketball game I’ve ever been to. I don’t follow sports too much. But it was fun! I was enjoying it while I was there.

Yeah, they kind of have a party atmosphere now, with the music going all the time. 

Mmmhm. 

So no fine or anything for you? 

No. I mean, not yet. You never know, like, down the line if they’ll get angry or if Glen Taylor will get angry and be like, “Oh, you better punish her!”

Do you feel like the protest achieved its aim? Have you been getting a lot of press attention this morning? 

Yes, yeah. We’ve been getting a lot of press attention, a lot of people have been talking about it on Twitter. I even saw someone who was like, “You know what? I didn’t know about this factory farm before this. Good job. Thank you.” People are watching the investigation. Like, people make their jokes. That’s fine. I can laugh at myself. I don’t mind. I’m just so glad people are actually talking about the issue. I love animals. The chickens they happened to kill are leghorns. I’ve personally had many leghorns in my life that were so near and dear to my heart. I was just really happy to be able to go and do this, especially for the leghorn chickens who were so exploited. 

Yeah, my wife has been vegetarian-curious, and on and off throughout the years, and when she saw the video you guys posted, she was like, “That’s it! I’m going vegetarian again.”

Oh nice, that’s so great. 

So count at least one win for you there. 

Yes! See? That’s why we do these things. I wish we could just do the investigation itself… well, I wish we didn’t have to do it at all, I wish it didn’t exist. But I wish we could just do the investigation and people would talk about it. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, that’s just not case so we have to do something that gets people talking. 

And you’re fine with the branding that’s come with your viral moment, that you’re Glue Girl now?

I actually think it’s kind of cute. I have nieces, and so my sister is like, “You sound like one of The Incredibles!”