House Democrats stage sit-in for gun control votes. Will it work? | The Tylt
Frustrated by GOP obstruction on gun safety legislation after Orlando, House Democrats have revived an old protest tactic: the sit-in. Civil rights icon John Lewis (D-GA) kicked off today's protest with an impassioned speech on the House floor, calling on Speaker Paul Ryan to bring up pending gun control bills. And then Democrats sat down, chanting “No bill, no break." The protesters forced the House into a temporary recess; the House cut off the C-SPAN cameras that normally broadcast the chamber, but Democrats continue to tweet and stream the protest live. From the Huffington Post:
"As the minority party, Democrats have virtually no power over which bills come up or don’t come up. The only thing they can do to derail a debate is shout in protest...or get creative with procedural maneuvers. They plan to do both this week."
Will the Democrats' sit-in result in action? Or is it just another political stunt that won't accomplish much? Should Dems/Republicans be allowed to perform sit-ins whenever they want to accomplish a political end?
The Atlantic notes that a sit-in by the black Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party at 1964 Democratic National Convention "was a key contributor to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965." So sit-ins can be an effective tool for change — but will this one actually change Congress's course on gun control? Outraged Republicans mounted a floor protest over energy legislation in 2008, but it didn't achieve their desired outcome. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vows that Democrats will stay on the floor until they get a vote. “We’ll be here as long as it takes, every day,” on the steps of the Capitol. “This is the moment of truth.”
Will this sit-in spur real change? Or will it end up a meaningless gesture?
House Democrats stage sit-in for gun control votes. Will it work?
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