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20 arrested at die-in outside NRA headquarters

By Ed Adamczyk
1/7
A protester is led away from blocking the street after taking part in a die-in to demonstrate against the shooting in Orlando and call for a ban on assault weapons, outside the NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., on June 21, 2016. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI
A protester is led away from blocking the street after taking part in a die-in to demonstrate against the shooting in Orlando and call for a ban on assault weapons, outside the NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., on June 21, 2016. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

FAIRFAX, Va., June 21 (UPI) -- About 20 protesters were arrested Tuesday morning after an all-night vigil outside the National Rifle Association's Virginia headquarters.

The arrests came after an overnight demonstration attended by about 100 people outside the Fairfax, Va., headquarters of the NRA. The group said they were there in mourning for the Orlando, Fla., shooting victims.

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Those arrested sprawled on the pavement, surrounded by chalk lines indicative of dead bodies, as a tribute to the 49 shooting deaths last week at an Orlando nightspot. Other protesters held signs and used red paint to indicate blood.

The action was sponsored by Code Pink, a group known for its anti-war stance, and a coalition of social justice groups.

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"We will then have a speak-out for peace ... and special ceremony from 2:02 a.m.-5 a.m., when the massacre and hostage-taking at the Pulse nightclub occurred. We will stay until 9 a.m., when the NRA staff comes in to work. The NRA's fierce lobbying against an assault weapons ban enables killers behind the shootings in Orlando, Newtown, [Conn.,] and San Bernardino [Calif.,] to use AR-15-type weapons," a pre-vigil Code Pink statement said.

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Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin, said "We are not trying to take away people's hunting rifles. We are trying to take away assault weapons."

Organized protests at the NRA offices are rare, but the group assembled peacefully on Monday evening, and some counter-protesters were present, to grieve, they said, but also to remind demonstrators that gun control measures would not have stopped recent mass shootings. The Code Pink statement said a "civil disobedience action" would occur Tuesday morning.

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"The one thing we both agree on is nobody wants guns in the hands of a madman, like in Orlando or San Bernardino or Fort Hood, [Texas,] or anything like that," NRA member Paul Brockman, a counter protester, told WJLA-TV, Washington, D.C.

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