Heard on the Hill

Lack of Action on Guns Leads to More Twerking

WERK for Peace stages a 'die-in' outside Rayburn

Firas Nasr of WERK for Peace, center, dances along Independence Avenue on Tuesday to draw attention to deaths by gun violence that occurred while Congress was in recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As Congress was returning from its August recess, WERK for Peace returned to the Capitol on Tuesday to continue to protest the lack of action on gun violence.

"Welcome back, Congress. Over 4,500 people died because you didn't take action,” organizer Firas Nasr yelled outside the Rayburn House Office Building, sounding off statistics on gun violence deaths since Congress was last in session.

In collaboration with CODEPINK and Gays Against Guns, WERK for Peace staged a dance and “die-in” themed protest calling for action.

The group of about 20 protesters started at the Capitol South Metro station and moved to Rayburn, where the first “die-in” took place. The protesters lay on the ground at the Independence Avenue entrance before Capitol Police immediately asked them to stand up and keep moving. They cooperated, thanked the officers and returned to playing music and dancing.

They also staged a "die-in" in front of the Supreme Court and the Hart Senate Office Building.

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

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

Protesters held signs that read “F--- the NRA” and “Disarm Hate” while three protesters covered their heads with white cloths and held up placards bearing photographs and the names of victims of gun violence: Frank Hernandez, who was killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in June; Matthew La Porte, who died in the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting; and Deeniquia Dodds, a transgender woman who was murdered in D.C. in July.

WERK for Peace was formed in response to the Orlando shooting with the goal of promoting peace through dance. On June 30, the group twerked outside of the Capitol.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.