Jamaican descent, U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke Joins Sit-In for Vote on Gun Control

United States Congressional Representative Yvette Clarke joined with other Democratic representatives and senators to participate in a sit-in demonstration on the floor of the House of Representatives on June 22, 2016, to call for the chance to vote on gun safety legislation in the wake of the Orlando, Florida, nightclub shooting. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has refused to bring the matter to a vote. The sit-in was organized by Georgia Representative John Lewis, an icon of the civil rights movement, who said “Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes you have to make a way out of no way. We have been too quiet for too long. There comes a time when you have to say something, when you have to make a little noise. When you have to move your feet. This is the time.” Speaker Ryan shut down the C-SPAN television coverage and told members to stop sending out personal videos or photos of the protest. They responded by turning to Twitter and Periscope to continue sharing comments and videos with the public outside the chamber. Representative Clarke, who represents the Ninth District in Brooklyn, New York, used her Twitter account to tweet a photo and “I’m on the floor asking for a vote on gun violence prevention legislation. #NoBillNoBreak #NoMoreSilence.” Ms. Clarke is of Jamaican heritage;, and before being elected to Congress, she succeeded her mother Dr. Una S. T. Clarke as a member of the New York City Council. The Clarke’s were the first mother-daughter succession in the history of the Council.

Photo Source: Rep. John Yarmuth