AOC Speaks Out on Capital Insurrection

AOC Speaks Out on Capital Insurrection

Photo by Louis Velazquez on Unsplash

Nearly a month after a pro-Trump mob raided the Capitol, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went on Instagram Live to talk about her experience and speak out against Republican lawmakers encouraging people to simply move on, which she describes as “tactics of abusers.”

Wiping tears away, she began to speak to an audience of over 150,000 viewers about fleeing her office in the midst of a siege. She describes hiding behind her office’s bathroom door, as she heard a man call out “Where is she?” while entering into her office. 

The man turned out to be a Capitol police officer, but even as she came out from behind the bathroom door she didn’t yet feel safe. She felt the officer looking at her with a “tremendous amount of anger and hostility” and said that she questioned which side he was on. 

She later describes sheltering with Representative Katie Porter, from California, in Porter’s office, contrasting her panic state with Porter calmly drinking coffee, as they were both at different levels of “awareness” about what was happening outside of the capitol. Ocasio-Cortez said that by this time she had already thought she was going to die twice. 

As she reflected on the events of that day, she mentions the unsettling feeling of not knowing whether certain people in her environment were trying to help her or were trying to put her and her staff in a vulnerable position. 

At some point, she spoke about coming to terms with the fact that things could go wrong,  “I felt that if this was the journey that my life was taking, that, I felt that things were going to be OK, and that, you know, I had fulfilled my purpose.”

And so, she said she struggled wanting to speak publicly about her experience of the insurrection for the fear of not being believed, similar to the fear of sexual assault survivors. “Are they going to believe you? Or the adult who, you know, if they hurt you when you were a child and you grow up and you confront them about it, and they try to tell you that what happened never happened.”

She called out Republican Senators, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, for spreading lies about the presidential election and inciting the insurrection of January 6th as well as downplaying the events that occurred on that day. 

I am a survivor of sexual assault, I haven’t told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.” She revealed at the beginning of her live broadcast. 

“The reason I say this and the reason I’m getting emotional in this moment is because these folks who tell us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what’s happened, or even telling us to apologize. These are the same tactics of abusers,” she said to her audience. 

As more evidence is obtained about the involvement of different people in the raid of the Capitol, we must not forget what happened that day and remember those who suffered and died. “We cannot heal without accountability,” said Ocasio-Cortez.


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