Democrats have turned to Periscope and Facebook Live to broadcast their sit-in to protest House Republicans’ refusal to hold a vote on gun control measures. Now add Snapchat to that mix.
The need for new media platforms became necessary after House Republicans did not allow C-SPAN to use House cameras to document the sit in. So though it’s against House rules to take pictures or video on the floor using cell phones, House Democrats used their phones to livestream the protest on Facebook Live and Periscope.
Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., has been using Snapchat since the sit-in began to interview Democrats about why they’re protesting. As of 9 a.m., she had interviewed 60 House members one-on-one about the protest, not including the speeches she filmed on the House floor. Each interview is about 10 seconds.
“We’ve taken to the floor in civil disobedience today to fight for the right to vote,” said Rep. Elizabeth Etsy, D-Conn., in one.
Snapchat is a social media platform that allows users to post pictures and videos that will disappear after 24 hours.
Bustos was a journalist for 17 years before she served as a Congresswoman, working as both a reporter and editor for the Quad-City Times, located in Iowa.
She also documented support from the Senate, showing boxes of food that Senate members had sent over in support of the protest, and the House cloakroom, where cushions were askew and food had been left out.
“This is our cloakroom in hour 22, looking kind of messy here, but OK,” Bustos narrated.
House Democrats have orchestrated the sit-in to call for a vote on a gun control measure that would prevent those on the terrorist watch list from buying guns. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has called it a “publicity stunt,” and the sit-in was interrupted late Wednesday night to adjourn the House until July 5. It is unclear whether Democrats plan to continue the sit-in until then or when they will break.
Bustos’ Snapchat username is RepCheri.