Twerk To End Gun Violence Protests the Return on Congress
Gays Against Guns staged a dance and “die-in” protest on Capitol Hill.
Published on September 8, 2016

WERK for Peace, an organization protesting the lack of action to curb gun violence in the US tried a new angle to stop the violence.

In light of the mass shooting in Orlando, the group set up shop using any means necessary to gain attention.

“We’re out here to send a strong message to Congress: Welcome back, do your jobs,” Phil Attey, co-founder of the D.C. chapter of Gays Against Guns, told the Washington Blade.

Werk for Peace teamed up with D.C. chapters of CODEPINK, a women’s organization for peace, and Gays Against Guns to stage a dance and “die-in” protest.

"Welcome back, Congress. Over 4,500 people died because you didn't take action,” organizer Firas Nasr vociferated outside the Rayburn House Office Building.

20 activists protested at the Capitol South Metro station and moved to Rayburn, where the first “die-in” happened.

They then staged another “die-in” on the ground at the Independence Avenue entrance before the Capitol, Police asked them to move. They cooperated. Another “die-in” took place before the Supreme Court and Hart Senate Office Building.

The group danced to hits like Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” and handed out Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence flyers, which read “While you were out: 4,500 people died from gun violence.”

Nasr shouted: “Did you forget about us, Congress, because we haven't forgotten about gun violence.”

“It’s time to get to work,” Toomey told the Blade. “There’s so much to be done in the areas of gun violence prevention. We’re just seeing an increase every day.”

Protest signs read “F--- the NRA” and “Disarm Hate.” Three protesters held up placards with photos and names of gun violence victims, including Deeniquia Dodds, a black transgender woman shot in the neck in July in Northeast Washington.

Formed in the wake of the Orlando shooting, WERK for Peace’s use dance to promote peace. The world could use more of that.

Congress historically enjoys low approval ratings. In the past decade, that often hovers around 10%. There are many issues on the plates of our representatives this political season, including funding cures for the Zika Virus, as well as tax reforms for health care for small businesses.

Justin O'Connell
Justin is a California-based writer who covers music, cannabis, craft beer, Baja California, science and technology. His writing has appeared in VICE and the San Diego Reader.
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