From early Wednesday and into Thursday, Democratic Rep. John Lewis from Georgia staged a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives which lasted more than 24 hours. Lewis, along with 40 other Democratic politicians joining him, staged their protest over the lack of action taken on gun control following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando on June 12. The sit-in has gone not at all unnoticed, and actor and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted his support for Lewis on Wednesday afternoon with the hashtag #RiseUp.
Miranda used the hashtag along with a retweet of the words of President Obama, which read, "Thank you John Lewis for leading on gun violence where we need it most." Lewis — one of the last leaders of the Civil Rights Movement who is still living — tweeted early Wednesday morning, "Sometimes you have to get in the way. You have to make some noise by speaking up and speaking out against injustice & inaction #goodtrouble." The last House sit-in was in 2008, and was led by Republicans who were aiming to pass an energy bill. It lasted only five hours.
Lewis' sit-in followed a 15-hour filibuster led by Senate Democrats last week. Two Republican senators also joined the filibuster, which was likewise a demand for action on gun control following Orlando.
Just a week ago, on the evening of June 12, Miranda, whose musical Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards, read an original sonnet as an acceptance speech at the awards ceremony. He paid tribute to the tragic shooting at the gay Orlando nightclub Pulse, in which 49 people were killed and 53 others were injured.
Miranda wrote the sonnet for his wife, Vanessa Nadal. It read, in part:
When senseless acts of tragedy remind usThat nothing here is promised, not one day ... And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.I sing Vanessa's symphony, Eliza tells her story Now fill the world with music, love and pride.
While the sit-in came to an end on Thursday afternoon, House Democrats are ready to bring it back in the coming weeks, at the start of the next House session. Rep. Lewis told CNN, "When we come back in July, we will start all over again."