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FLASHBACK: AOC calls on activists to make politicians ‘uncomfortable’

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Viral video that surfaced Monday showed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., snap at pro-Palestinian protesters who confronted her and her fiancé outside a movie theater in Brooklyn, New York.

“I need you to understand this is not OK,” Ocasio-Cortez angrily told the activists as they demanded that she call Israel’s offensive in Gaza a “genocide.” The Democratic lawmaker appeared uncomfortable as the activists accosted her in public, but that was exactly what she called on protesters to do just a few years ago.

“The whole point of protesting is to make ppl uncomfortable,” Ocasio-Cortez posted in December 2020 in a thread that defended “defund the police” activists who had confronted politicians in public spaces. 

“The thing that critics of activists don’t get is that they tried playing the ‘polite language’ policy game and all it did was make them easier to ignore. It wasn’t until they made folks uncomfortable that there was traction to do ANYTHING even if it wasn’t their full demands,” she argued at the time. 

PRO-PALESTINIAN PROTESTERS ACCOST AOC OUTSIDE MOVIE THEATER, DEMAND SHE CALL ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR A ‘GENOCIDE’

“Activists take that discomfort w/ the status quo & advocate for concrete policy changes. Popular support often starts small & grows. To folks who complain protest demands make others uncomfortable … that’s the point,” she posted. 

Those posts have come back to haunt Ocasio-Cortez several times in the years since, as she has complained when protesters targeted her at various events. 

In the video that surfaced Monday, protesters, phones in hand, are seen approaching the congresswoman outside the Alamo Drafthouse. 

“It’s not OK that there’s a genocide happening, and you’re not actively against it,” one of the protesters tells her. 

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aoc movie theater

“You’re lying!” Ocasio-Cortez shot back. 

The video shows the protesters following her down the escalator, continually berating her for not labeling the war a “genocide.” 

“If you can’t say it, just say it. Literally. We’re just talking to you like normal people. Just say it’s a genocide. Just say it. Over 30,000 people are dead, AOC. You can’t just say it for once?” another protester shouts, citing figures from the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. “Just say the word, that’s it. That’s all we want you to say.” 

The confrontation escalates as the activists chase down Ocasio-Cortez and her fiancé, Riley Roberts, outside the building. At one point, Roberts pleads with the protesters to stop as they continue following the couple down the sidewalk. 

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to reporters in Washington, D.C.

One of the protesters asks whether Ocasio-Cortez is concerned her comments would “go viral.” 

A visibly angry Ocasio-Cortez tells the protesters that they are going to clip the video so that her comments are “completely out of context.” 

She then appears to concede that Israel’s actions constitute a genocide. 

“I already said that it was. And y’all are just gonna pretend that it wasn’t. Over and over again. It’s f—ed up man. And you’re not helping these people. You’re not helping them,” Ocasio-Cortez says. 

Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly condemned Israel’s retaliation after the Oct. 7 massacre, in which Hamas militants killed 1,200 civilians, injured hundreds more, and took around 250 hostages. 

She has called for a cease-fire and suggested the U.S. “conditioning aid, if not cutting aid to the Netanyahu government.”  

Just weeks after the Oct. 7 attack, Ocasio-Cortez accused Israel of committing war crimes, while qualifying that she was not defending Hamas. 

Fox News Digital’s Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

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