This afternoon, a group of about 50 Democrats from the U.S. House of Representatives staged a sit-in on the House floor to advocate for a vote on gun control, and broadcast the event live from Periscope and Facebook.
Rep. John Lewis of Georgia organized the protest in the wake of this month's mass shooting in Orlando and other recent tragedies. The legislators sat on the floor of the chamber chanting "no bill, no break" and refused to leave until Republican leaders agreed to hold a vote on gun control before Congress takes a weeklong holiday recess for Fourth of July.
As soon as Democrats began sitting on the floor, Republicans called for a recess, effectively cutting off C-Span's broadcast from within the chamber. C-Span then sent out a tweet directing readers to a 28-minute Periscope stream created by Rep. Scott Peters of California that was viewed by more than 32,000 people.
C-SPAN has no control over the U.S. House TV cameras. Here are some tweets from Members of Congress during sit-in.https://t.co/vCI7C4fhUL
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 22, 2016
Shortly afterward, the hashtag #NoBillNoBreak started trending nationally as the No. 1 topic on Twitter, and Periscope set up a channel to organize all of the streams into one place for folks to watch.
When the Periscope video timed out, C-Span switched over to Facebook and encouraged viewers to tune into a Facebook Live video on Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke's page that's been viewed 164,000 times and shared more than 3,400 times.
Meanwhile, other government officials, including Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, took to platforms like Snapchat to share the event.