Congressional representatives staging a sit-in in Congress is more than unprecedented. It’s unheard of. Yet today, Congressman John Lewis led a contingent of House Democrats to stage a groundbreaking sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives. Their purpose: to demand Congress to act on gun control legislation in light of the Orlando shootings.
This sit-in was led by John Lewis — an American Civil Rights Movement hero — who was nearly beaten to death by police while demonstrating with Martin Luther King. His taking this lead makes this event symbolic as well as historic. Calling his colleagues onto the floor of the House chamber to lead this charge, Lewis came full circle in time, facing a familiar enemy. As a well-known Civil Rights leader he is more than well-acquainted with white men with guns and dogs.
The Second Amendment of the Constitution — the right to bear arms — was ratified in the late 1780s to allow Southern states to quell slave rebellions, which were many at that time. The relationship between Americans and their guns today is based on a single premise: to allow white America to protect themselves and their property from the terror of dark people rebelling against their authority. So embedded is this fear, sanctioned by law, that it has become a mitochondrial aspect of our social and economic infrastructure. And that fear has evolved to include many more targets.
The list of historic enemy combatants started with Native Americans, and African-American slaves. Our current iteration now includes immigrants — the browns: Latinos and Muslims. And don’t forget young black men and women. That gays and lesbians, first graders, mothers and their children, and couples on a date in a movie theater are part of the collateral damage — well that’s just how it goes. As long as we’re safe from the swarthy folk.
It’s going to take more than sixty years of the Civil Rights Movement, an African-American President, and a more culturally diverse society with minorities as the majority to root it out of our collective consciousness.
Afraid to act on approving sane gun control legislation, Congress is too paralyzed to even allow modest controls through background checks — like making sure people with a criminally violent history, or those on the “no-fly” list, or people found to be potential terrorists — have no access to guns. As a result, there’s little to prevent actual terrorists from buying semi-automatic weapons.
Congress won’t even allow it to come up for a vote. Without any legislative action gun advocates in Congress have now abetted the very terrorists their banner claims to protect us from. As seen on Twitter: “For terrorists, guns are the new airplanes!” For the gun industry: supply and demand — whee!!
What do you do when people in control are so fearful of the fear they’ve created for their own gain, that they are paralyzed — by more fear? Under those circumstances, it’s hard to find logic in their thinking. No wonder why Lewis is there, joined in solidarity by the rest of the Democratic minority in the House and Senate. Our sons and daughters are being denied a future. If a sit-in in Congress is a slap with a 50-pound boxing glove, let ‘em have it. Time to wake up. And do something.
PW contributor Lizanne Webb just sent in this link — Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) is feeding video to CSPAN!
Paul Ryan needs to turn on the video feed.
Thank you Fe, this is the perfect time for the perfect topic to be discussed in an in-your-face way, that only you could do this well. Right now transiting Chiron in Pisces and transiting Pholus in Sagittarius are exactly square each other. It is the intent of centaurs as astrological symbols to bring into human consciousness, by whatever means, the ancient and embedded traits and characteristics of humanity which are loathsome to its spirit and its inherent godliness. These 2 transiting centaurs are both aspecting the U.S. Sibly chart natal Mercury (the Mind) in Cancer; Chiron the healer by trine and Pholus the foolish by quincunx.
As Pholus transits the U.S. Sibly 1st house (and conjuncts the Galactic Center) of Self, the effect is that of uncorking the forbidden wine and thus creating a rage impossible to subdue easily. This centaur energy pushes the U.S. Mercury to adjust its position (its thinking) due to the discomfort of the quincunx imbalance.
Meanwhile as Chiron moves forward in the Sibly chart 3rd house (a house associated with Mercury in any chart) it has (again) reached a square with the U.S. Solar Return chart’s Mercury in Gemini which opposes the U.S. Solar Return Pholus in Sagittarius, both of whom are T-square the U.S. Solar Return Chiron in Pisces as well.
It is Pholus however, that in the U.S. Solar Return chart also participates in a grand trine with the conjunction between Jupiter and Venus in Leo and Uranus-Eris in Aries. It is this grand trine fire energy that most certainly describes the Orlando massacre which has become the trigger for the present Appropriate Fury among (1) the People and (2) it’s Government Representatives.
This dual role Pholus plays in the U.S. Solar Return (July 2015-2016); his participation in a T-square with Mercury and fellow centaur Chiron, and his Grand Fire Trine with personal planet Venus, expansive Jupiter and explosive Uranus, is what symbolizes the complete loss of the cork. The wine will never be able to return to the bottle and a bitter wine it has indeed been.
Let’s us, you and I, and our fellow Furyites then drink a toast to the power of the Centaurs whose ability to move the unmovable, to embolden the timid and galvanize the spiritual will to once and for all, take down the old ways of the Mind (the U.S. Mercury opposes the U.S. Pluto) so rooted in hate and fear, and bring the U.S. Mind out into the open air of freedom and equality. Cheers!
We were looking at the sit-in start chart and saw a void-of-course moon, but it looks as though you hit the sweet spot by looking at this as the natural progression of the Pulse Club shooting chart.
Pholus, baby. There had to be something that stirs up the ethers. If the murder of twenty-six children and teachers couldn’t do it, how about the worst mass shooting incident in the history of the US? Its time for SANITY!!!
Amanda: Thank you for the C-Span link to the periscope view. The sit-in has just entered its eighths hour as of the time of this comment, and is going strong. I would encourage everybody to watch it.
Fe: Right on to your stirring prose.
Barbara: Right on to your cogent astrological observations.
This is history, folks. History being made.
The sit in is in it’s 9th hour as of the time of this comment. The House Democratic Caucus has voted to stay as long as it takes. A colleague from the Senate (Elizabeth Warren, i believe) has brought doughnuts. Somebody is gonna have to buy pizza before long.
In the early evening, GOP leadership aides announced plans to gavel the House back into session sometime around 9:30 p.m., to vote on a veto override of the Fiduciary Rule, which is unrelated to the gun issue.
Republicans were hoping is to “get the House up and running for business” according to an aide. They say they will work around the protesting Democrats — even stepping over them to vote if necessary.
Thank you, Amy.
As of 9:39 pm EDT, no House Republicans have shown their sorry faces.
One might think that one solitary Republican would show up and join the sit-in. Have they no decency?
The 10th hour begins.
It appears as if the periscope feed terminated when the house cameras came back on at approximately 10:04 pm EDT when Speaker Ryan called the house to order to vote on “investment advice” legislation (studiously ignoring and overriding the sit-in legislators calling for a vote on the gun legislation).
I’m keeping the channel open. If they cut the C-Span cameras again it’s likely he’ll turn the Periscope back on.
I didn’t realize the 2nd amendment was about putting down slave rebellion. I associated it with the colonial rebellion against British rule. That must be a red herring of the NRA. And today, a sit in in Congress. Thank you Fe and Planet Waves for bringing me the news.
Here you go, Diva Carla:
DivaCarla: Thank you for bringing out what must be one of many NRA red herrings.
Periscope feed appears to have resumed at 10:38 pm EDT.
Speaker Paul Ryan ain’t lovin’ life right now.
This could be a very interesting moment in our history, especially with respect to the legislative reactions to 9/11. The broad discretion allowed in identifying someone to be included on the “no-fly” list might be reexamined (which is sorely needed), given the competing narratives of the NRA and those of us who support what I’d call common sense gun regulation. The Orlando mass murder has us looking, at last, at how we deal with “terror” and even how we define it.
I’m pleased to see that people are talking about how the powers/discretion around the no-fly list are too broad and ripe for abuse. Maybe this will extend to other police-state type of legislation that was hurriedly enacted at the same time. There seems to be more connecting of the dots happening in the wider public realm right at the moment. Barbara’s analysis here seems right on point to me.
Thank you Cynthia:
The work ahead is monumental, but the unraveling is necessary. That it’s taken so long is why we have had so much death, so much terror. We’ve put ourselves in the position of literally terrorizing ourselves to death.
I love B. too. She paints some incredible astrological pictures here that I stayed buoyed: my feelings and writing about current events are validated.
This night I need to go to sleep but can’t. So much energy swirling about!
Fe: i know what you mean (about needing to sleep especially). Far as i’m concerned, you are equally as worthy of honor Congressman John Lewis. It is people like the two of you who make it possible for me to get any sleep at all.
You sure would make a great President.
Cynthia: Good points all. The whole idea of a no-fly list (in addition to how it is compiled) should be scrutinized.
They way i see it, however, is that it is hypocritical to support no-fly lists (as Republicans do) and yet allow those not permitted to fly to still buy an automatic weapon of mass destruction. It is a hypocracy and an abuse of power to control the House of Representatives and not allow a vote which the Republicans will win anyway.
There is more to look at for sure, but the issue of this sit-in is as vital as any of them. It is calling the Republicans on their hypocracy and abusive conduct.
And the honorable John Lewis should get the Nobel Peace Prize for leading the way to (as he put it) in the way.”
Oh, I agree Len! Those who support no-fly lists AND access to those weapons by persons on the lists are hypocritical for sure. It’s a real doubling-down on utterly craven bullying and posturing, IMO.
“War on terror!!” So let’s enact some legislation that erodes civil rights protections and let’s militarize local police departments so that SWAT teams with tanks and war-grade weaponry can respond to peaceful demonstrations. Let’s create a list that can contain just about anyone’s name, for just about any perceived or drummed-up reason, and make sure those people can’t fly on commercial flights. And keep how the list functions a secret. Because Homeland Security.
“Defend constitutional rights!!” So let’s allow anyone who wants one to buy a semiautomatic weapon – which is not useful/appropriate for sport target shooting, hunting, or self defense. And make sure they can buy magazines that hold as many rounds as possible. And you better not take that right away from someone simply because they’re on a no-fly list. And let’s leave it to the states to decide how to handle administration of sales and permits related to guns. Because the 2nd Amendment.
See anything similar here? Aside from a stupendous lack of common sense? It must be very difficult to hold these two ideas in the same brain at the same time. The dissonance makes my head hurt.
For the record, I don’t believe even the best gun control is THE answer to massacres like Orlando, San Bernardino, Charleston, etc etc. Nor even the biggest part of the answer. But it’s a very important proxy – it represents so much more that we need to understand and come to terms with (as Fe has been writing about so eloquently).
All kinds of politicians have abused power, probably for much of recorded history. But the antics of the congressional Republicans over the past 7 years are treasonous in my opinion. I have no party affiliation and don’t buy the idea that one party is bad and one is good; however, there’s just no equivalence when looking at Republicans vs. Democrats during this timeframe. The extremism gives us a clear picture of what we need to work on, so we can be thankful for that.
Live petition here
Thank you, Amy.
Nessus….”The buck stops here.” Melanie Reinhart
Thanks karliecole, transiting Nessus at 5+ Pisces is trine the U.S. Jupiter at 5+ Cancer and we can’t underestimate his contribution to this remarkable display of defiance!
“And the honorable John Lewis should get the Nobel Peace Prize for leading the way to (as he put it) in the way.” I agree with you Len, and as you say, history is being made here. And thanks, once again, Fe!
OK – so here’s the latest. The reps are still sitting in. The House has been adjourned until 2:30am and the rumour is that when the Repugs return, they’ll hold a vote to adjourn the House until July 5. As they heavily outnumber the Dems and voting has been along party lines thus far, it’s very likely they will succeed.
I’ll be up with the live feed as long as possible and will try to bring the result of that vote.
The Dem speeches and the cold-hearted Repug response – safe in the knowledge that they have a comfortable majority – are painful viewing. Outside the US, people know that this so-called protection of rights that don’t actually exist (even in the Second Amendment) at the risk of 89 lives per day is absurd. There is simply no reason to prevent legislation to minimise risks. They’re not even asking to ban guns.
In the UK guns are by and large banned. Guess what? We have hardly any gun deaths. That’s partly why Jo Cox’s murder was so shocking. Trump’s nonsense is starting to infect the rest of the world, to my sorrow, but I think we’re a saner society for this ban. Australia banned guns and there was a sharp reduction in gun deaths. America stands out in terms of casualties, by a long way.
What is bothering me just a little about this action, however, is that if the vote the occupiers are asking for took place, the Repugs would still have a majority…I do hope that since they’ve had the guts to hold the floor for over 14 hours, they will refuse to stand down until they accomplish something real.
(Note: OK, some of the bills they’re asking to be given a vote are Republican and bipartisan. Blimey.)
A great discussion all around! …I too believe that what is happening in the House is amazing and worth supporting. I do however, take issue with the statement about how the 2nd amendment came about….there is a great deal of history that was left out and/or glossed over. Without going into a really detailed historical account…with sources… I’ll just reference an article written in rebuttal. http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2013/01/second_amendment_slave_control_not_the_aim/ There is an enormous about of historical reference behind this subject…it’s a worthy, interesting and timely discussion, of that there is no doubt, but impossible to simply drop into a discussion without doing the proper research. I’d be inclined to reserve judgement until doing thorough discovery to ascertain if the statements in the original article are historically valid. Perhaps worthwhile in this space in time especially given our current political, media driven environment. Finding the facts on the reason for the 2nd amendment would make a wonderful dissertation…!
Great link, and I do read and respect The Root.
And yes, the historical background on the 2nd is worthwhile to discuss, and parse through. For the present, it would be great to hold that thought because we will be exploring it further here.
The Democrats know they won’t win on a gun control vote from the Republican majority. They want them on record to show that in a choice between our public safety and the NRA, they will vote for the NRA.
Whether they get to a vote or not, in an election year this is a win-win for the Dems who are tired of the GOP passivity on behalf of the gun lobby’s special interests even as more innocent people are killed. 90% of Americans are in favor of a “no-fly no buy” rule for gun sales. There is a mandate there providing weight to their argument, regardless the result of a procedural vote.
Good point, Fe – thank you.
OK, as expected the House has adjourned officially. The Dems are still on the floor and several members are broadcasting the occupation on FB live and Periscope.
It looks as if some were planning to leave and come back at 10am, but some intend to stay.
Nighty night! Hopefully we can keep following this. A truly historic day.
Lots of love
Good luck with the EU Referendum today Amy!! May cooler heads prevail!
Amen. Thank you.
Unbelievably, they’re still awake and still talking sense. These reps sure have stamina. I’d have needed a nap by now.
Slightly off-topic, but this seems like a good place to post it…
My dear Scottish friend shared this post by Caroline Lucas yesterday on FB. I’m not sure if she’s a public figure of any sort or just a friend of his, but I found her reasoning on the Leave or Remain question in the UK to be sane and heartening:
Hope you re-post this as we do Brexit coverage here.
Yes, I’m eager to read PW coverage of Brexit. I just saw that Leave has won. Wow, I must say I’m surprised. Or maybe gobsmacked is more appropriate.
I expected that once folks got their ballot many of them would just not be comfortable with such a big unknown. Predictably, London (and Scotland) was strong for Remain with the shires & Wales going for Leave.
America should take note. The parallels between the UK referendum and the US presidential race are many and strong.
I want to watch these next few days to see how much a part nativism has played with Brexit, which ties in to our original discussion about the Second Amendment.
Big days lay before us. Time to rummage through the rubble to see what shakes out!
I feel like we’re living in a world with one foot out the door trying to come to grips with the new world outside. The other foot still firmly planted in what feels comfortable and safe–the knowable. Even when the knowable may or may not be sustainable. More to come.
Wise and comforting words, dear Fe. Thank you. Am feeling pretty shaken by the news right now – first heard it through a text message from my sister (in the UK), saying she was devastated by the news. Here’s an interesting breakdown of what it entails:
“What do you do when people in control are so fearful of the fear they’ve created for their own gain, that they are paralyzed — by more fear? Under those circumstances, it’s hard to find logic in their thinking.”
…beautiful and powerful Fe, thank you.
Thanks to our challenging Mars retrograde activity, I have recently been undergoing a situation in which your words perfectly describe those “in power.” I have experienced this before, so I recognize I am being offered an “opportunity” to heal and resolve and dissolve this “pattern” in my life. I am also being offered an opportunity to “walk my talk,” and genuinely “be the change I seek in the world.” (Sorry about the clichés, but they are apt here…)
Metaphorically speaking, the folks I am dealing w/are, on an energetic level, engaged in a “witch hunt,” in order to preserve their power and cover up their mistakes. I have discovered on a very personal level, the “witch” in a witch hunt is really the hunter, not the hunted.
What I do know, from years of challenging inner work, is there is no “logic in their thinking;” they’re not thinking, instead, their emotional body is running the show. All their fears, all the things they have ignored, suppressed, subjugated; all the ways in which they have chosen not to take care of their own Self and others…that’s in charge of them at the moment, perhaps not unlike many people in America right now.
What’s different this time around for me, is I have a tremendous amount of compassion and understanding for that….which has allowed me to respond rather than react, to choose wisely and well, and to stand for truth and reality without being attached to the outcome.
I will admit, there is a little voice in my head that says, “Welcome to Trump Land, Kelly.” But I have kept those comments mostly to my Self.
What I have also encountered, for the first time, is that some people around me, out of their own integrity, their own sense of Self…have chosen to stand with me. This is a huge gift to me.
I would stand alone, if need be, I’ve done so before, under circumstances most folks will never encounter. But it emboldens and strengthens my faith in our shared humanity to have others, like those standing with John Lewis, to stand with me.
It feels like, as you so beautifully wrote, “appropriate fury.” Thank you for sharing your gift of words w/me today…proving once again, words have tremendous power.
…Kelly Grace Smith
In honor of proofreading…that word below should be “chosen.”
What I have also encountered, for the first time, is that some people around me, out of their own integrity, their own sense of Self…have cosen to stand with me. This is a huge gift to me.
I fixed it already. One of the boons of being a post author here is that you can help your commenters by spellchecking. But we knew what you meant when you first wrote it!
The world has so much news today, its hard to know where to begin, but after watching C-Span coverage last night, and the visceral response to the Orlando shootings, the timing of the water signs and the centaurs on the US Sibley — as BKoehler wrote about above — is truly remarkable. There is feeling on both sides.
But there is a “thinking heart” at play with the Dems as they sit on the chamber floor in Congress. They are responding — like you have, not reacting, as conservative politicians want their base to react (as id-stimulation) with fear. This is fighting with the arrow and shield of compassion. There is medicine inside the fury.
A comment from Daily Kos:
Amanda – Caroline Lucas is the only Green Party MP in Westminster. Before that she was elected in 2010 she was an MEP based in Brussels, so she knows her stuff and speaks a lot of sense!
Front page of today’s New York Daily News, photo by Eric:
So the sit-in ended a few hours ago. Here’s the video of John Lewis’ concluding speech on the floor.
Well whaddya know? A bi-partisan gun reform measure advances for a vote despite NRA opposition!!
How cool! So glad the protest has had some results. I do hope the pressure is kept up until we get some tangible results, but this is a start.