As I’m sure you’ve heard, House Democrats, led by Congressman John Lewis (D – GA), are staging a sit-in on the House floor today, demanding a clear and honest vote on gun control in the wake of yet another mass shooting in the U.S.
Everything about this is historical.
And, for me, it’s incredible that – like any good political uprising today – the only way to watch the events unfold is through social media.
After Rep. Lewis kicked off the sit-in earlier today, Speaker Paul Ryan cut the C-SPAN feed to the House. But, the Democrats were ready for that and they’ve been live streaming video through Facebook, Twitter and Periscope all day.
From a PR perspective, this is a brilliant strategy.
Consider that Rep. Lewis was a very public figure in the Civil Rights Movement, which employed sit-ins to make their message heard.
After cutting the C-SPAN feed, Paul Ryan could have enforced his Congressional power to have the Democrats physically removed from the House floor by the Sergeant at Arms, without any live footage of the event.
But, the Democrats arranged to broadcast the sit-in via social media as they came armed with laptops, iPads and cell phones, items usually forbidden in the Chamber.
By broadcasting live footage, The Dems are protecting their position because images of elected officials being physically removed from the House floor, including one of the most revered Civil Rights leaders in the country, would not go over well with the American public.
I don’t know how this historical moment will play out. But, I am thrilled to see broadcast media like CNN, MSNBC and the major network nightly news running the – sometimes blurry, but always live – events through social media.