A coalition of activist organization is in the midst of a 49-hour sit-in outside Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) Orlando office — one hour for each of the victims of the Pulse mass shooting last month, Towleroad reported.
“Opportunist political leaders have offered meaningless platitudes and political pandering in response to unspeakable violence,” the group said in a statement. “At best, politicians propose ‘No Fly No Buy’ legislation that employs racial profiling and fails to address the most urgent needs of marginalized communities. We demand a comprehensive platform to address gun safety, equality, and community violence.”
The demonstration attracted around 100 participants, many of whom have been circulating photos and video of themselves at the scene using the tag #SitInForThe49, as seen here.
— Ida V. Eskamani (@ida_v_e) July 11, 2016
— Hey, it's K (@kk_porter) July 11, 2016
— Anna V. Eskamani (@Anna_V_E) July 11, 2016
Orlando Weekly reported around 7:45 p.m. local time on Twitter that 10 of them had been arrested.
WESH-TV posted footage of police shortly before the arrests, which can be seen here:
— Chris Hush (@ChrisHushWESH) July 11, 2016
Among the groups taking part or supporting the protest are the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida, and Unite Here, which represents hotel, airport, and gaming employees around the US and Canada.
“Our Union stands w/ sister Francisca Flores who lost her daughter at Pulse,” the latter group said on Twitter. “We will not forget the 49.”
A response from Rubio’s office did not directly address the demonstration.
“Senator Rubio and our office continue working around the clock on federal casework to assist victims’ families, survivors and their families, and we stand ready to continue assisting, including lending staff to the victim assistance center as we did for the last few weeks,” said a spokesperson. “Over the past month, Senator Rubio has supported common sense compromises to make it easier to track individuals who have been on the terror watch list and later try to buy firearms, all while improving due process protections for law abiding Americans.”