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House Democrats Have Occupied The Floor For Over 20 Hours To Demand Gun Control

CREDIT: JOHN LEWIS
CREDIT: JOHN LEWIS

More than 130 Democratic members of Congress and one Republican have now been holding a sit-in on the House floor for more than 20 hours, led by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) attempted to cut short the proceedings around 10 pm Wednesday night, but his efforts to call a vote on an unrelated measure were drowned out by chants of “No Bill No Break.”

Since around 11:30 am on Wednesday, the hundreds of members of Congress have taken turns speaking about gun violence. Some shared personal stories, others appealed to their Republican colleagues to call a vote on a measure to ban suspected terrorists on the “no-fly list” from purchasing firearms.

After Ryan ended the official session and C-SPAN was forced to shut off its cameras, some members began streaming the proceedings live on Periscope and Facebook. Eventually, C-SPAN began airing those videos instead.

As the sit-in reached its tenth hour, Ryan entered the chamber in order to call a vote on an unrelated bill — one that would allow investment brokers to choose not to make decisions based on the interests of their investors. But the Democrats did not let Ryan conduct business as usual.

During the brief period of time that Ryan held the chamber, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) approached the sit-in, yelling about “radical Islam.”

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“We are talking about radical Islam! Radical Islam killed these people!” Gohmert yelled. He approached the Democratic lawmakers, waving his finger at posters each lawmaker held with the name of one victim of gun violence. The Democrats responded by yelling: “No fly, no gun!” and “Don’t let terrorists have a gun!”

The Republicans again entered the chamber around 2 am to call a vote on a Zika virus-related bill, but left shortly after. Supporters brought the lawmakers pillows, blankets, and food. At one point Wednesday night, the members of Congress joined together to sing “We Shall Overcome.”

FacebookEdit descriptionwww.facebook.comRyan closed the legislative session and Republicans left the chamber around 3 am without plans to return until after the July 4th break. The sit-in continues.