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Ocasio-Cortez says some US communities ‘have no choice but to riot’



Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said certain communities, including ones within the United States, have no other option that to riot if they are marginalized.

Ocasio Cortez made the comments during a radio interview with New York’s Hot 97 Tuesday, several weeks after an armed, self-described “Antifa” man attacked an ICE detention facility in Washington state using similar language to hers in his manifesto.

Read more: Top Democrats shift blame to Trump after armed man is killed attacking ICE detention center

“Once you have a group that is marginalized,” Ocasio-Cortez said while discussing conflicts in Israel, “Once someone doesn’t have access to clean water, they have no choice but to riot.”

“I’m not even talking about Palestinians,” she added. “I’m talking about communities in poverty in the United States, I’m talking about Latin America, I’m talking about all over the world.”

Ocasio-Cortez also noted that “social destabilization is what happens when people do not have a plan or feel like there’s no vision for their future.”

A spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez was not immediately available for comment.

Several weeks prior, an armed man named Willem Van Spronsen attacked a privately owned but ICE-operated detention facility in Tacoma, Washington, looking to liberate migrants being held there. Local police ultimate shot and killed Van Spronsen, who identified as part of “Antifa,” a leaderless anarcho-communist group of self-described “anti-fascists” who regularly participate in violence in protests and counter-protests.

In his manifesto, Van Spronsen parrots the same language Ocasio-Cortez used to describe the detention centers, which have been heavily criticized for poor conditions and prompted Congress to rush through a supplemental funding package to improve the various facilities.

Read more: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez replaces Nancy Pelosi as Fox News and Republicans’ new boogeyman for 2020

Ocasio-Cortez, who sparked arguments with conservatives opposed to her comments referring to the facilities as “concentration camps,” said of the attacker that “any act of violence is of course terrible,” but declined to comment further.

Other top Democrats who have used similar language on the detention centers, shifted blame to President Donald Trump, whose comments they said are much more damaging and provocative.

“Obviously any time a life is lost in the United States of America, it’s cause for concern,” House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries said of the attack. “The person that needs to tone down the xenophobic and racist rhetoric that is consistently peddled out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is Donald J. Trump.”

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