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‘I believed I used to be going to die’ in Capitol assault, Ocasio-Cortez says. She’s not alone


”The rationale I’m getting emotional on this second is as a result of these of us who inform us to maneuver on, that it’s not an enormous deal, that we must always neglect what’s occurred, and even telling us to apologize,” she mentioned, “these are the identical techniques of abusers, and I’m a survivor of sexual assault and I haven’t advised many individuals that in my life. However after we undergo trauma, trauma compounds on one another.”

Ocasio-Cortez ended up hiding in Rep. Katie Porter’s workplace for a time. Porter described to Lawrence O’Donnell the second AOC arrived, terrified. “Alex is admittedly often, like, unfailingly well mannered and really personable, and he or she wasn’t even actually speaking to me, she was opening up doorways, and I used to be like ‘Can I show you how to? What are you in search of?’ And he or she mentioned ‘I’m in search of the place I’m going to cover.’”

Porter recounted telling her, “’I am a mother. I am calm. I’ve every part we want. We are able to reside for like a month on this workplace.’ And he or she mentioned, ‘I simply hope I get to be a mother, I hope I don’t die at this time.’” And after Ocasio-Cortez expressed concern that she was carrying heels and wouldn’t be capable to run, Porter discovered a pair of sneakers for her to put on. That’s the extent of concern Ocasio-Cortez was dealing with.

We all know that the concern she felt was cheap—folks died that day and others had been injured. The mob completely wished to kill members of Congress. However, as she mentioned, there’s an try at erasure occurring, with Republicans wanting desperately to downplay the seriousness of what occurred. So it’s essential to grasp how very removed from alone Ocasio-Cortez was in her concern.

That features particular fears, like—as soon as she discovered the place the extraction level for members of Congress was—refusing to go there as a result of “There have been members who had been live-tweeting the situation of the speaker that had been in all probability going to be there.” Rep. Mondaire Jones told Lawrence O’Donnell, “I share her concern. In that room there was an announcement made by the respective caucus chairs, Hakeem Jeffries and Liz Cheney, that members in that room had been live-tweeting and in any other case doing interviews revealing our location, regardless of having been instructed, for apparent causes that frankly shouldn’t have required instruction, to not disclose the whereabouts of 200 members of Congress who had simply escaped a bloodbath within the Home chamber minutes earlier than.”

Jones added, “The actual fact is that a lot of these folks, along with having incited that violent revolt that we noticed, seemingly had been coordinating extra explicitly with these folks, and so the investigation is ongoing and on daily basis we study extra in regards to the stage of involvement of a lot of our colleagues.

Different members of Congress have recounted comparable sorts of concern in hiding that AOC described. Reps. Lois Frankel and Grace Meng spent 5 hours barricaded in a lounge, with Frankel texting her son, a former Marine, footage of how they’d blocked the door for his recommendation on securing it higher. If the mob broke via the door, Frankel’s plan was to faux to be secretaries, however Meng wasn’t so positive that might assist. “However what truly scared me extra was what would come after, once they opened the door and realized that I used to be a minority, a girl of shade,” she mentioned. “I used to be scared what they’d do to me in the event that they [saw] what I seem like.”

Rep. Sara Jacobs was among the many folks within the Home gallery who had an particularly shut brush with the insurrectionists. “We might hear the mob behind us. We heard gunshots,” she advised Slate. “I bear in mind considering to myself that I don’t even know find out how to get out of the gallery in one of the best of occasions. It’s my fourth day—how am I going to evacuate?”

A number of representatives echoed Ocasio-Cortez in speaking in regards to the ongoing emotional impression of the trauma. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster advised Slate’s Christina Cauterucci the week after the assault that she was feeling “a stage of anger that I’m unfamiliar with,” together with that “I don’t swear, and actually, I’ve dropped extra F-bombs up to now week than I feel I’ve in my lifetime.”

Rep. Jason Crow, a former Military Ranger, mentioned “I really feel a accountability to destigmatize the expertise” of the trauma response, as a result of so lots of his colleagues are scuffling with it. And he famous that many Republicans additionally felt that concern—they’re simply refusing to speak about it as a result of they need the entire thing to go away.

Along with members of Congress who feared for his or her lives, we ought to be listening to from congressional staffers and from the employees who keep the Capitol and take care of the members—the meals service workers who in some way supplied members of Congress with meals throughout the revolt, the upkeep and cleansing workers who had been there on the time and who cleaned up the injury afterward. They too skilled this trauma and may have a voice in speaking about why accountability is essential. 

The assault on the Capitol was one form of violence. The try to comb it below the rug and keep away from accountability for these concerned is one other form. The U.S. authorities failed to forestall that first form of violence and now Republicans are actively attempting to advertise the opposite form, reasonably than stopping it.