JUST IN: Democratic Lawmakers Stage Massive Walkout On Capitol Hill (DETAILS)

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On Wednesday, the one month anniversary of the high profile mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students around the country staged walkout protests, leaving their classrooms for 17 minutes in remembrance of the 17 Parkland victims. The protests weren’t just a memorial, but they were also a call for new controls to be instituted on guns, including those like the one used in the Parkland attack.

Facing essentially a brick wall in Congress when attempting to push forward their own efforts to enact change, Democratic members of Congress joined protesting students on Wednesday. Leaders ranging from Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, and Richard Blumenthal to Reps. Keith Ellison, Nancy Pelosi, and Ted Deutch showed up at times.

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At a protest on Capitol Hill, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised the students who have participated in the protest push in support of gun reform following the Parkland shooting, saying that they have “sacrificed so much, spoken so eloquently [and] commanded the attention of the nation.”

She added:

‘We are all moved by your eloquence and fearless insistence on action to prevent gun violence. Thank you for bringing your urgency to this fight [and] to the doorstep of America — the doorstep of the capital of the United States… You are creating, with this walkout today and your ongoing challenge to all of us… you are creating a drumbeat across America — a drumbeat that will echo until we get the job done.’

Check out two video clips of her remarks below.

WATCH LIVE: Lawmakers join students in gun protest on Capitol Hill https://t.co/B9gqfHUvRF #NationalWalkoutDay pic.twitter.com/341Vn46ekp

Pelosi and other Congressional Democrats participated in the “Congressional Solidarity Walkout,” walking out of the Capitol Building just like students across the U.S. walked out of their schools early Wednesday.

Check out video of the “Congressional Solidarity Walkout” captured by Buzzfeed below.

In the face of the protests, the infamously Twitter-happy president has spent Wednesday morning tweeting about the economy and the supposed need to address “rampant unfair trade practices.”

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The White House recently unveiled a school safety plan that includes measures like bolstering the ability for trained teachers to bring firearms onto school grounds and bolstering the ability of states to take away firearms from individuals who may pose a physical threat. The plan does not itself include any new legislation, although it does include the establishment of a commission to examine the best way forward on school safety that will be led by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

The protests in favor of common sense gun control will continue for the near future and are poised to continue to chip away at D.C.’s inaction on gun policy reform. The “March for Our Lives” is set to take place in Washington, D.C., later this month, with affiliated demonstrations across the country. The event has attracted support of high profile names like George and Amal Clooney and Oprah Winfrey.

As one of the other recent protests in support of gun reform, just this week, 7,000 pairs of shoes were left out on the lawn in front of the Capitol Building as a symbol of the approximate number of children’s lives lost due to gun violence since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

 

Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video