Rep. John Lewis Bookends the House Democrats’ Gun Control Sit-In

"We're going to organize, we're going to mobilize."

The sit-in, which ended around 1 p.m. today ET, wrapped up the same way it had begun: with Rep. John Lewis inspiring a call to action. “We’re going to organize, we’re going to mobilize,” he told the House Democrats who had been protesting for over 25 hours.

“The social media told the story,” he added, an acknowledgement of the social livestreaming that ensured the sit-in would be televised (and broadcast) after House Republicans adjourned shortly after the sit-in began. This effectively cut off C-SPAN’s camera feed, which is controlled by the party that controls the House and is turned off when Congress is not in session. C-SPAN would continue coverage by picking up Reps’ livestreams.

The social media not only told the story, it became a part of the story as legislators began using apps like Periscope and Facebook Live to stream the sit-in. Rep. Scott Peters, who was one of the first to do so on Periscope, encouraged fellow legislators to download the app and help livestream. Rep. Tammy Duckworth even smuggled in her cell phone inside one of her prosthetic legs to ensure it couldn’t be confiscated.

Lewis himself tweeted occasionally during the sit-in.

“The American people are with us and people around the world are with us. And we’re with them,” Lewis said as the sit-in came to a close.

In a very brief statement outside the Capital following the conclusion of the sit-in, Lewis indicated that its close did not signify the end of House Democrats’ efforts to get the House to deliberate on gun control legislation.

Publish date: June 23, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT