The House Democrats’ sit-in — led by civil rights legend John Lewis — shows no signs of ending after nearly twelve hours. Certainly, this is lightweight duty compared to what Lewis has endured during decades past. Still, he’s dead serious about the current subject of gun control, and all of the Democrats participating in the protest claim they’ll stay as long as it takes to prompt true congressional action. They’re trekking uphill, and they know it. After all, not even the Senate Democrats’ 15-hour filibuster made many Republicans (many of whom have accepted ungodly amounts of money from the NRA) sober up about this issue.
So, the House is rebelling, and Speaker Paul Ryan and his wallpaper face are losing patience. Early on during the sit-in, Ryan characterized the event as a mere “publicity stunt” and paid the price on social media. At around 10:00pm EST, he attempted to take control of the House floor, and the Democrats weren’t budging. A few other noteworthy developments have taken place today. But first, the sight of Ryan attempting to be civil while banging his gavel and pleading for decorum is worth observing for a few minutes. The Democrats simply shout, “No bill, no break!” in response.
This isn’t exactly a heavy metal mosh pit, but for men and women wearing stuffy suits, the atmosphere is rather chaotic. Also, Alex Howard snapped these photos — which show a massive crowd of supporters outside the Capitol building — right before Lewis popped out to address everyone.
Lewis told reporters, “I’m gratified. It is good to see sitting there on the floor. I felt like I was reliving my life all over again. During the sixties, the sit in started with three or four people and it spread like wildfire. This was spread.”
Earlier in the day, Lewis told reporters that this sit-in “is not much different than what I did 50 years ago.” Those protests involved racial discrimination and the right to vote. Now, Lewis wants to help “protect the American people against violence.”
Late in the afternoon, several Senate Democrats — including Cory Booker and Chris Murphy — came to support their fellow politicians. Booker captured this video.
Elizabeth Warren also dropped by while bearing precious donuts.
Ron Wyden brought in pizza. This sit-in could last awhile even though the lights and air conditioning may soon be extinguished. Paul Ryan had better get comfy too because his gavel is clearly getting him nowhere.