Following a fourth night of protests in Minneapolis, as thousands took to the streets demanding an end to police violence against Black people, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged her supporters to take a broad view of the demonstrations, and spoke critically about those who are calling for a stop to the unrest, which has included the looting and burning of buildings.
“If you are calling for an end to this unrest, and if you are a calling for an end to all of this, but you are not calling for the end of the conditions that created the unrest, you are a hypocrite,” she said in a video on Instagram Saturday morning, posted above. “So if you’re out here calling for the end of unrest, then you better be calling for health care as a human right, you better be calling for accountability in our policing, you better be supporting community review boards, you better be supporting the end of housing discrimination…Because if you don’t call for those things and you’re asking for the end of unrest, all you’re asking for is the continuation of quiet oppression.”
Dozens of cities saw protests on Friday night over the death of a Black man named George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis on Monday. The officer, Derek Chauvin, pinned Floyd to the ground by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes, even after Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe and appeared to go unconscious on the concrete. While many protesters in Minneapolis and other cities have remained peaceful, some have turned violent, stealing and setting buildings on fire; a man in Minneapolis was fatally shot during protests on Wednesday.
“This is not to condone violence, this is not to condone any of that,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “But…we have to really ask ourselves the question as to why so many people were okay ignoring these problems until a window got broken. Why does it take that for people to pay attention?”