Kansas City Congressman Emanuel Cleaver was seated on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday afternoon — and we mean sitting on the carpeted floor, not in a seat — as part of a Democratic-led sit-in in a protest to demand action on gun control.
The protest follows the shootings in Orlando, the deadliest in American history.
“This is just too important to ignore,” Cleaver said in a statement released by his office. “Mass shootings that claim the lives of innocent Americans should not be the norm. And make no mistake, it is time to finally close the terror gap once and for all, by barring gun sales to persons on the FBI’s terrorist watch list. We must allow a vote on the House floor!”
The protest was led by Georgia Congressman John Lewis, an icon of the civil rights movement.
“Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes you have to make a way out of no way. We have been too quiet for too long,” Lewis said. “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.”
President Barack Obama issued a statement in support of the demonstration.
Lewis said the protestors had no plan to leave anytime soon.