Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recalls how she thought she would die on January 6th

United States House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing ?Protecting the Timely Delivery of Mail, Medicine, and Mail-in Ballots?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had not really told her story of everything that went down, from her perspective, on January 6th. She had indicated and said outright that she feared for her life, that she had been in some kind of incident with the white supremacist terrorists who laid siege to the Capitol. I got the feeling that she was still processing the very real trauma and she would speak more about it when she was ready. She was ready last night, and she spoke at length on her Instagram Live about what went down.

As rioters threatened to breach the Capitol on Jan. 6, a staffer rushed into Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office and told her to hide. Soon after she ran into a bathroom, she heard a thunderous banging noise outside.

“Where is she? Where is she?” someone yelled, Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in an Instagram Live chat on Monday night. “And this was the moment where I thought everything was over.”

The person thumping on the doors turned out to be a police officer trying to move her to a secure location, Ocasio-Cortez said, but the harrowing moment was just the first of many as a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol. With around 150,000 viewers watching live, Ocasio-Cortez for the first time recounted in detail what she had earlier described as a near-death experience during the attempted insurrection. The New York Democrat also revealed during the 90-minute discussion that she is a survivor of sexual assault. She compared lawmakers like Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (Tex.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.), whom she accused of trying to play down the seriousness of the riot, to abusers who attempt to silence and undermine victims.

“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. And I’m a survivor of sexual assault,” she said.

Ocasio-Cortez added: “I haven’t told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.” Representatives for Cruz and Hawley did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Monday.

Ocasio-Cortez said demanding accountability for the Capitol riot wasn’t about politics. “This is at a point where it’s not about a difference of political opinion,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This is about just basic humanity.”

[From WaPo]

AOC has needed security from the very start. Republicans and conservative media put a target on her back, name-checking her constantly and outright telling their cult of armed psychos that AOC needed to be taken down, needed to be “put in her place.” She has gotten death threats, and there were terrorists in the Capitol on January 6th who were specifically looking for her to murder her. And no, she’s not going to just forgive and forget. This was a terrorist attack.

Both of these videos made me cry. Damn.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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41 Responses to “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recalls how she thought she would die on January 6th”

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  1. local russian hill says:

    exactly aoc. and i’m sorry both of these incidents happened to you. i can relate.

    the entire gop are gaslighting and minimizing the situation. and they’re so afraid of their constituents that they probably won’t vote for impeachment even though they know they should. they drank the koolaid and it’s gone to their brains permanently.

    • Snuffles says:

      Lindsey Graham has gone on record that he doesn’t even think there should be witnesses.

      They don’t want any witnesses or testimony because a LOT of them are either directly or indirectly involved in making January 6th happen. This is more than just them being afraid of MAGAts. This is them terrified that their criminal culpability will be exposed.

      • LightPurple says:

        Graham isn’t even making sense in his ravings. He says if they call witnesses then he’ll need to get the FBI involved. The FBI is already conducting an investigation.

        Meanwhile, he is blocking hearings on Merrick Garland’s appointment as AG.

  2. Kaye says:

    She needs to testify at the upcoming impeachment hearing. Such a credible witness.

  3. Leah says:

    They were targeting her and everyone involved (from the congressional members to the useful idiots who stormed the building) need to be charged and sent to prison.10 years breaking rocks on a chain gang and no less, no cushy club fed prison.

    If there’s no accountability it will happen again.

  4. Snuffles says:

    I can only hope she had told the FBI the details of what happened to her, gave them a physical description of that Capitol Police “officer” so he can be identified.

    • Talia says:

      At the very least, he was horrendously unprofessional. The best case scenario is that he panicked and forgot his training which doesn’t say much for the police force protecting the government. Worse case, he deliberately sent them out of an office into the path of the mob.

      • Kacy says:

        He directed her to the extraction point. She came back and said that they confirmed this with others later on. However, his demeanor and the way he expressed it were so unprofessional, who can blame her for being skeptical.

  5. Bettyrose says:

    There’s no question her life was in danger. And she’s right that’s it’s abusive to suggest the nation move on.

    • Mac says:

      To every Republican who said they were afraid for their families if they voted for impeachment, I say look at AOC. She lives under constant threat of death but she shows up everyday and votes her conscience because she has courage.

      • HoofRat says:

        I’ve always admired her, but after watching these, I want to a) hug her, and b) go full Mama Bear on Cruz, Hawley, Graham and McConnell. Deplorable, detestable, minimizing, gaslighting abusers, the whole sorry lot of them.

      • JanetDR says:

        I’ll back you up on that!

      • bettyrose says:

        Yes to all of you. I think if AOC were in need of a volunteer security team, the response would be massive, and it’d start to look a bit like the training scenes on Themyscira (I had to Google the spelling) in WW.

      • lucy2 says:

        That’s what I said when all those GOP were saying that – AOC and other younger women in Congress have faced those threats daily, for years. And they still do their jobs.

  6. Angie says:

    If they would have found her they would have killed her, no doubt about it.

    • lanne says:

      It’s terrifying to think not only that they would have killed her, but how. This is a mob. They would have torn her from limb to limb. It’s really amazing that no members of Congress did die that day. The officer who led the terrorists the wrong way is a true hero. Pence would have been lynched and any women fould would have likely been violated in the most terrifying ways.

      White people have to start owning up to white privilege and the evil that racial superiority can unleash. If these were black, brown, middle eastern terrorists, there would be hearings with witnesses for the next year, and likely any brown/black/ME congresspeople would have been pored over inch by inch looking for hints of complicity. Anyone who continued to torment a fellow congresswoman (like that MAGAT Marjorie whatever) would have been expelled from congress already. We have to stop acting like whiteness is some kind of protective agency (i.e., white people wouldn’t REALLY do this) and call terrorists what they are. Terrorists. None of this should have happened. It’s a conspiracy that goes straight to the top, featuring not just Trump, but the FBI and the DoD. Why were there so few police? No National Guard? No protective gear? We MUST have hearings with witnesses, or this WILL happen again. The racist terrorists WILL be emboldened and they WILL be more successful next time.

      • Larisa says:

        Every single white person I know already “owns” every single point that you made. The white people who stormed the Capitol likely never will and they don’t listen to us any more than to you. We don’t expect all Muslims to own their terrorists. Why should I own the white ones? I’m not standing in anyone’s way to bring them justice, in fact, I actively demand it and I’m PISSED that they likely won’t get it. What else can I possibly own?

      • KL says:

        @Larisa, if it doesn’t apply to you then move along and try to do good elsewhere.

        But treating someone’s entirely reasonable statement about the insidious presence of white supremacy in our society as an attack on you, personally, looks suss. No accusation here, just food for thought for future encounters.

      • lanne says:

        @Larisa, we collectively DO expect all Muslims to own their terrorists, and all black people to own black violence. Don’t believe me? Then why do so many white people start talking about Chicago and doing “whataboutism” whenever people talk about police brutality? A mass shooting happens? I, and all brown and black people think “please don’t let the shooter be black/brown/Middle Eastern”. Because it CAN directly affect us. Think of how the “Chinavirus” talk affects Asians in the US. Now, it’s white people who are the terrorists. The people who invaded the capital were brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles. And people HAVE owned them. It has gladdened my heart to see so many people turn in and report on their family members.

        We get nowhere in society until white people collectively own this problem. I have no idea how you will do it. I do know that POC already own our intra-racial problems. We’re already judged collectively. This is the world we live in. Welcome to it. It’s about time you joined this club.

      • Mac says:

        @Larisa -Every institution in America is built on structural racism. Those systems of oppression need to be dismantled if we want to live in a equitable society. You need to read some books to educate yourself about how white supremacy is reinforced in our society. Also, maybe make friends with someone who is Muslim so you can learn about the faith and how terrorism is antithetical to it.

      • Suzy S says:

        If you are white, and feel you are doing all you can, please don’t take the criticism from POC of “white people” as directed at YOU. It’s not. It’s directed at all the white people who voted for Trump, and yeah, there were a few POC in amongst them, but most were white supremacists aholes and we all know it. THAT is who they are talking to and we all know that. So don’t take it personally.

        I have been seeing a lot of people who are non-white are speaking out the same way lately. Things are coming to a head. It’s hard to hear or read it when you see “white people need to this or that” and you are white and already doing that… but good for you then! You aren’t the white people they are talking about.

        And if you are uncomfortable being lumped in with all those other horrible people, think… this is something most POC have had to deal with for ages… all being painted with the same brush as terrorists or thugs or less than whites. It’s just that hearing “white people” being talked about as a group and being painted in the same negative way as a whole isn’t something we white people are used to and it’s kind of shocking to read it. Even I feel that.

        The discomfort you feel is because white people as a whole are usually not the targets of such talk. But that discomfort is a reminder that others… blacks, Muslims, Jews, etc. are, and have been for ages. Think of how Trump talked about Mexicans as all being rapists or murderers, or implied all black people were thugs who would lower the property values in his supporter’s neighbourhoods. They are used to such hurtful, horrific blanket statements, but we, as white people, are not, hence the discomfort

        But it’s true. White supremacy is a huge problem and it’s the reason for a lot of the problems in the US from its start to today, and it needs to be addressed and squashed. All good, decent, caring people need to fight against it.

        So, as natural as it is to be defensive and not want to be lumped in with all those other ugly ignorant white people… remember, it’s not really about us . We are in the same fight against those people. So brush aside the discomfort… and concentrate on the bigger message. That discomfort reminds us what it’s really about for so many, and you know you are doing what is right, and that is really all that matters. Hugs!

      • lanne says:

        Thank you Suzy S!!! That’s exactly the point I was making. It’s not the job of nonwhite people to make white people “feel better.” We do not have “woke cookies” or other such prizes to give for the “good ones.” If you’re a “good one,” you don’t need to be called out for your goodness any more than a person who chooses not to steal, kill, be dishonest, etc needs to be rewarded. We should behave decently because it’s the right thing to do. So many of us roll our eyes and get frustrated at sentiments like @Larisa’s because their “wokeness” is just performative if they need it to be acknowledged, and it’s hollow to the core. Good, decent people are speaking up when their friends and family members make racist jokes and statements–they check themselves when they feel those things, and work in good faith to help create the better, more equitable world that so many people are working for.

        It’s okay to feel frustrated when white people are called out and you are out there working hard. I feel that way whenever I see stories about black kids getting shot in their neighborhoods by gang members. But I don’t go around saying “look at me, I have a good job and good credit!” The story of inner city blight isn’t about me., even though I very well could be judged by it in mainstream culture (yes, I have been asked at cocktail parties, “I’m not racist, but why do so many black people do…” I simply disarm the ignoramus by saying that I came in fourth place in the Spokesperson for All Black People Election. Works every time. Uncomfortable laughter and subject changed).

        We all just have to keep our eyes on the prize and work to create the future we want to see.

      • JoGirl says:

        I 100% agree, and am grateful that white supremacy is being called out in the mainstream, in a way that I don’t recall in my lifetime. Will it make an actual difference? We’ll see.

  7. Southern Fried says:

    Listening to her and Katie Porter last night broke me and I had to go right to bed.

    • Giddy says:

      Same. When Katie Porter quoted AOC saying that she was afraid that she might not survive and would never be a mother, I burst into tears.

    • Truthiness says:

      Same. Except I couldn’t sleep. We still don’t know if that cop was on her side, she said he was angry and not exhibiting coplike behavior or identifying himself as police. She and G couldn’t tell if he was compromised and sending them somewhere nefarious. So happy she eventually found Katie Porter, who would be steel under pressure, and they moved together to Ayanna’s for food. I can’t move on from this either and I’m glad she found the strength to speak some of her story from that day.

  8. smegmoria says:

    It made me mad that after they were evacuated they were not told where to go.

  9. Frida_K says:

    Where to even start with this? Where to even start?

    There MUST be consequences. ALL of this DEMANDS to be laid out in full so that all can see, and there MUST BE CONSEQUENCES.

    There also needs to be therapy and trauma support for each person who was a potential target of violence. This was horrifying and each one will experience it through the lens of their own pasts and personalities. They need support and structure as they process their responses to this heinous event.

  10. qtpi says:

    The original “officer” story has so many red flags. Came alone, she said they normally have a partner. Never identified himself as an officer. Seemed very angry. Radiating anger she said. Told her to evacuate to a place they had not been told to evacuate to before. Didn’t mention to bring the gear they are provided to protect themselves (hood of some kind to protect from gas etc?)

    Remember Ayanna Pressley had all their emergency buttons ripped out. They discovered this when they went to press them.

    This is some BULLSH*T.

    • LightPurple says:

      And they had codes that were to be used to signal that it was safe to open the door. We learned that from how Tammy Duckworth was rescued. This guy didn’t use any kind of a code, he just broke through and told her to go to a location that was NOT secure.

      • Talia says:

        At best he was panicking which doesn’t say much for his training. Hopefully the FBI will be investigating the worst case scenario, i.e. that he deliberately tried to send them into the path of the mob.

  11. Christine says:

    I love how vulnerable and still strong she is. It was hard to watch the videos because of how raw it is. She is courageous and I love her.

  12. Christina says:

    It broke my heart when she talked about struggling to be believed. She is brave, and smart, and unapologetic. And she wears her Latina culture proudly; when she talked about wearing red lipstick and gold hoops after she initially won her seat, it was bittersweet. I stopped wearing big gold hoops and red lipstick at work to code-switch in corporate America. AOC is the new generation, and the right has always been threatened by smart minority women, and we must be discredited forcefully, and gaslighted. She is our avatar, and their nemesis, and my heart breaks for her. I am deeply grateful for her courage to serve and to stay in her position. She has every right to walk away, but the stays and fights.

  13. Case says:

    I think AOC is awesome and even before this, I worried for her safety. The GOP have this hatred of her mixed with some sort of attraction to her that makes them even angrier. It’s frightening. I’m so sorry for what she’s experienced. Her story is so harrowing.

  14. Lily P says:

    I adore her. We so desperately need more emotion, empathy and vulnerability in our politics

  15. Jaded says:

    How to unpack this….when she spoke about how traumas multiply on each other it hit a pretty raw nerve in me. And because I too have suffered many traumas in my life starting with a problematic childhood including physical and emotional punishment (spankings, yelling, face-slapping, etc.) escalating to being molested at 13 by a good friend of my parents to several sexual attacks in my twenties which mercifully I managed to stop by screaming my lungs out, to being lied to, gaslighted and screwed around on by a number of boyfriends I trusted, to having bad male bosses come on to me or scream at me in front of my colleagues…the list goes on. And I’ve always told myself to “get over it”, that’s life and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Well no. What AOC said is right, you can’t just “move on”, trauma lives with you all the rest of your life. Most of the time it hides away but many things can trigger it.

    I once said to Mr. Jaded early on in our relationship, “You don’t know what it’s like being a woman. You learn to be on guard all the time. Your defenses are constantly up. And we’ve had to learn that the hard way. Most women I know have been repeatedly bullied, harassed, and physically and emotionally abused. It stays with you.” He was pretty humbled.

    AOC is one hella strong, smart woman and she speaks truth to power. Here’s a young woman who has taken on the worst of the worst of white male bullying, misogyny, racism, jealousy and outright hatred, all because of her political beliefs. She and others are now walking around with bullseyes on their backs because of it. If only women ran the world…it would be a much better place…

  16. Liz version 700 says:

    This made my heart break. I think the gaslighting around the insurrection is disgusting and so demeaning of the lives lost and the trauma of everyone. But this really just hit me so hard. Our elected leaders deserve to be safe from this. Humans deserve to be safe from this. And they are forced to go to work with people who tried to help kill them. I cannot even…

  17. Darla says:

    I saw this late last night and couldn’t sleep. Then when I finally did I had bad dreams.

    But I am very, very angry.

  18. Amando says:

    So heartbreaking. It is simply unacceptable that the GOP just want to sweep this under the rug. They are a heartless party.

  19. Linney says:

    As a lifelong Republican (until 2016, although I voted for many Democrats over the years) I have been struggling to figure out why so many elected officials are closing their eyes/going along with insanity/ and out and out lying. I keep hearing “they are afraid of the base,” and perhaps that’s true in part. But I think many of these congressmen and women are still supporting the previous wannabe-dictator president because they agree with his racist policies. It won’t be long before whites are in the minority in this country, and I think this lies at the heart of it. These despicable individuals would love to see an authoritarian style government run by white, gun-toting Christians. (This is not to say all Christians are gun-toting, naturally.) Frankly, I am embarrassed to be an American. The parallels between this country and Germany of the 1930’s are startling.

  20. JRenee says:

    2021 and we are here.