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USA. The White House supported Tennessee MPs expelled from Parliament for protesting against firearms

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US Vice President Kamala Harris met state congressmen in Tennessee on Friday after two Democratic Party members were expelled from parliament for participating in an anti-gun protest following the Nashville school massacre.

The Republican majority in Tennessee’s state congress voted Thursday to unseat two MPs who protested in the House with supporters of tougher firearms laws. On Friday, the US Vice President met with the expelled congressmen Kamala Harris.

Justin Jones and Justin Pearson were fired from the state legislature because they took part in a demonstration organized after a Nashville school shooting that killed three children and three adults.

MP Gloria Johnson, who also attended the protest but was not expelled from the state congress, said in an interview with CNN that she probably survived the vote because, unlike her expelled colleagues, she is white.

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Vice President Kamala HarrisAndi Rice/PAP/EPA

Vice President Harris met with Jones and Pearson and people who attended the gun control demonstration.

Republican congressmen resorted to a procedure used only a handful of times after the Civil War to prevent setting a precedent that would allow state congressmen to interrupt local parliamentary sessions with protests in the future, the Associated Press reported.

Protest after the Nashville school massacre

Jones, Pearson and Johnson took the rostrum with a megaphone on March 30 and shouted slogans in connection with the massacre at an elementary school in Nashville, the state capital. Democrats invited a group of demonstrators to the building, who called for a change in the law from the gallery together with politicians.

Demonstrators – mostly students and schoolchildren – were present in the gallery and in front of the parliament building also during Thursday’s debates.

The decision of the state parliament was strongly criticized by the White House. “The fact that this vote happened is shocking, anti-democratic and unprecedented. Across Tennessee and across America, our children are paying the price for the actions of Republican lawmakers who continue to refuse to act for stronger gun laws, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Main photo source: Andi Rice/PAP/EPA

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