Democrats in the House of Representatives are holding a sit-in to force a vote on increased gun control. Currently, they’re in their fifth hour of the sit-in. Led by Congressman John Lewis—who is no stranger to organizing and civil disobedience from the Civil Rights Movement—about 40 Democrats gathered on the floor calling for a vote—one that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan would have to call.
In the moments leading up to the sit-in, Lewis spoke passionately about gun control.
There comes a time when you have to say something, when you have to make a little noise, when you have to move your feet. This is the time. Now is the time to get in the way. The time to act is now. We will be silent no more.
Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary, sometimes you have to make a way out of no way.
We have lost hundreds and thousands of innocent people to gun violence. Tiny little children. Babies. Students. And teachers. Mother and fathers. Sisters and brothers. Daughters and sons. Friends and neighbors. And what has this body done? Mr. Speaker, not one thing.
Democrats chanted “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!” and “No bill, no break!”
The disturbance caused Representative Ted Poe, a Republican from Texas, to send the session into recess. Ryan could decide to have the floor cleared or sanction the group participating in the sit-in, or he could continue to wait it out.
The demonstration isn’t being televised by C-Span because the House is in recess, but the Periscope feed of California Representative Scott Peters is being streamed on C-Span’s website.
This comes, of course, just one week after Senator Chris Murphy led a 15-hour filibuster for a vote on gun control.