- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denounced critics who accused her of lying in her account of the Capitol siege.
- She called on her other colleagues to share their experiences during the deadly insurrection Thursday.
- Ocasio-Cortez shared her harrowing story on Instagram Live, saying she thought she was “going to die.”
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to the House floor on Thursday to condemn those who accused her of lying about her account of the Capitol siege.
The congresswoman also issued a special order to allow her colleagues to share their own accounts of the deadly insurrection that transpired on January 6.
“Twenty-nine days ago, on January 6th of 2021, insurrectionists attacked our Capitol, seeking to overturn the results of our nation’s election,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Twenty-nine days ago, the glass in and around this very chamber was shattered by gunshots, clubs, by individuals seeking to restrain and murder members of congress duly elected to carry out the duties of their office.”
“Sadly, less than 29 days later, with little to no accountability for the bloodshed and trauma of the 6th, some are already demanding that we move on, or worse, attempting to minimize, discredit, or belittle the account of survivors,” she added.
—CSPAN (@cspan) February 5, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez, who also revealed during the Instagram Live that she is a survivor of sexual assault, said such rhetoric sends a “tremendously damaging message to survivors of trauma all across this country, that the way to deal with trauma, violence, targeting is to paper it over, minimize it, and move on.”
“Sadly, this is all too often what we hear from survivors of trauma as the reason why they don’t get care,” the congresswoman continued, “that what they experienced wasn’t bad enough or too bad to talk about, or that they are afraid of being invalidated, accused of exaggeration, or making a mountain out of a mole hill.”
“As a result, thousands, if not millions, deny themselves the care that they need and deserve to live better lives.”
She then announced she was calling a special order to allow her fellow members of Congress to recount their experiences of the Capitol siege and thanked her colleagues “who have bravely come forward today to share their accounts.”
A number of House members stepped forward, including Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, Dean Phillips, and Peter Welch.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who was not present during the siege, also delivered her thoughts on the events that transpired. She was moved to tears when addressing her colleagues, saying that the violent insurrection prompted her to recall when she had received her first death threat on her “very first day of orientation.”
“It was a serious one. The FBI took me aside, they had to go to the gentleman’s home. I didn’t get sworn in yet and someone wanted me dead for just existing,” Tlaib said. “More came later, uglier, more violent. One celebrating in writing the New Zealand massacre and hoping more would come. Another mentioning my dear son Adam, mentioning him by name. Each one paralyzed me each time.”
“So what happened on January 6, all I could do was thank Allah that I wasn’t here. I felt overwhelming relief,” she continued. “And I feel bad for Alexandria and so many of my colleagues that were here. But as I saw it, I thought to myself, ‘Thank God I am not there.'”
—Justice Democrats (@justicedems) February 5, 2021