House Democrats are staging a sit-in today in an effort to push their Republican colleagues to vote for a gun control bill that would exclude suspected terrorists from purchasing automatic weapons. Led by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, the Representatives sat down on the chamber floor, chanting “No bill, no break,” and calling for a vote. The beginning of the dramatic protest was captured on C-SPAN’s livestream — but then the video cut out.
House Republicans had called a recess, triggering the shutdown of the cameras C-SPAN uses in its broadcasts — effectively cutting off public access to the protest. However, Representatives quickly turned to Periscope and Facebook Live to stream their own video.
Periscope co-founder Kayvon Beykpour praised the Representatives for turning to the live-streaming service owned by Twitter to make their message known.
“Today is an example of what drives us. Twitter and Periscope take you where other cameras don’t — letting you experience breaking news through the eyes of those living it,” Beykpour said.
Periscope compiled a list of live broadcasts of the sit-in so that viewers can follow along with the protest, under the hashtag #NoBillNoBreak:
C-SPAN turned to social media to gather footage for its broadcast, using Facebook and Periscope streams instead of the cameras within the House chamber.
The debate over gun control has boiled over following a mass shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, with Democrats in the House and Senate pushing for new legislation. However, the bill that House Democrats are currently pushing has been criticized for its reliance on no-fly lists. The ACLU and other civil liberties organizations have said no-fly lists are over-broad and disproportionately target Arab Americans.