Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told her followers on an Instagram live that she thought she was going to die in a “very close encounter” when violent rioters stormed the US Capitol. She also said that many members of the House of Representatives were almost killed.
Ocasio-Cortez said she could not provide a detailed account of exactly what happened to her the day of the insurrection because of security risks but could say that she had been left traumatised by the events that unfolded.
“You have all of those thoughts, you know, at the end of your life and all of these thoughts come rushing to you,” she explained about the near-death experience on Instagram.
“I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive…not just in a general sense but in a very, very specific sense,” she said.
“Wednesday was an extremely traumatising event. And it was not an exaggeration to say that many members of the House were nearly assassinated. Many of us nearly, and narrowly escaped death.”
She also revealed that she didn’t feel safe sheltering with other members of Congress because she knew that some Republicans would disclose her location, thereby putting her in direct risk of being physically hurt by the mob. She said she was specifically concerned about kidnapping.
Ocasio-Cortez said the attack on the Capitol was an act of upholding the politics of white supremacy, and that Trump, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley needed to be held responsible for their actions.
“This is how democracy can burn. It is fragile. We must cherish it and they didn’t. And they don’t. So, they need to leave. Donald Trump needs to leave. Ted Cruz needs to leave. Josh Hawley needs to get out. They need to get out,” she said.
“To my fellow members: If you so much as stutter to say the confederacy is a legion of white supremacy, turn in your pin and get out.”
To the Trump administration officials who resigned following the attacks, Ocasio-Cortez said: “Too late… you were part of it. Those five people’s blood is on your hands.”
Ocasio-Cortez also used the opportunity to talk openly about trauma and told her followers that if anyone had found the events of January 6 triggering, or if they felt unsettled about what they saw on TV, they should seek professional help.
“I once heard trauma described as too much, too fast, too soon,” she said. “Mental healthcare is healthcare.”
What @AOC did on IG tonight (talking openly about trauma) will save lives.— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) January 13, 2021
I’ve seen the power of this type of openness first hand and – especially given the fact that she’s under constant scrutiny – her decision to talk about it is commendable.
Ocasio-Cortez said that Trump posed an imminent threat to Americans and that Republicans should vote to impeach him.
“While it’s a little late for some Republicans to scramble together a reputation… maybe you should vote to impeach him because he’s an active threat to every single American,” she said.
“We will never go back, I’ll tell you that, we will never go back. The only way forward is a multi-racial democracy that fights for the economic rights of all people and the civil rights of all people, period.”
“You’re either with the people, or you’re with that mob.”