Lee, Honda, Swalwell represent East Bay for House gun control sit-in

Democrats protesting on the House floor.

CONGRESS | Alameda County’s three members of the House of Representatives had starring roles in the historic protest by Democrats on the House floor Wednesday urging for votes on a pair of gun-related bills.

Reps. Barbara Lee, Mike Honda and Eric Swalwell all spent the duration of the nearly day-long (still going) sit-in listening to colleagues rail against gun violence, while giving their own addresses.

Labeled on social as #NoBillNoBreak, the protest by Democrats was not televised by C-SPAN after Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan called for a recess. Microphones on the House floor were also turned off.

Honda, who continued posting tweets and videos well after 4 a.m. Eastern time, told fellow Democrats, “I’m here to tell you this Mike is still working.” While House rules strongly forbid the type of demonstrations seen Wednesday, Honda said, “We are breaking the rules to be heard.”

Swalwell, one of the youngest members of Congress, and a noted social media maven, naturally acted as one of a handful of representatives who utilized Periscope, a burgeoning livestreaming app, to broadcast the protest around the nation and world.

Later, he addressed the group, asking, “When is congress going to do something about this?” Swalwell said enacting legislation to combat gun violence is difficult, but a solution should be found, nonetheless. “Damnit, isn’t that why we came here?” He added, later, “Our constituents are fed up. The victim’s families are fed up.”

Lee, who represents Oakland, one of the cities hit hardest by gun violence, carried a photo of 16-year-old Reggina Jefferies, who was shot and killed last week. “I also have pictures of other young people killed in my district,” Lee added.

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