Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday praised a protest against New York City police and seemingly endorsed subway turnstile jumping as a way of “standing up” against the “system.”
Ocasio-Cortez, a first-term progressive Democrat from New York, retweeted footage of many of the protesters storming a Brooklyn subway station and hurtling over the barriers without paying.
“Ending mass incarceration means challenging a system that jails the poor to free the rich. Arresting people who can’t afford a $2.75 fare makes no one safer and destabilizes our community,” Ocasio-Cortez commented. “New Yorkers know that, they’re not having it, and they’re standing up for each other.”
Ending mass incarceration means challenging a system that jails the poor to free the rich.
Arresting people who can’t afford a $2.75 fare makes no one safer and destabilizes our community.
New Yorkers know that, they’re not having it, and they’re standing up for each other. https://t.co/asvidIe5zV
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 2, 2019
In the post Ocasio-Cortez shared, which has since been deleted, a Twitter user named Rafael said people are “invincible together.”
‘Thousands of my NYC family protesting police violence to and criminalization of our people who can’t afford to pay subway fare by taking over the subway and not paying,” he said. “Police had to give up.”
The footage in Rafael’s tweet showed protesters helping each other over the turnstiles as they hold signs with slogans like, “Black Lives Matter” and “No cops, no fares.” When one person chose to pay the fare, another protester shouted to stop.
Almost 1,000 people marched in Brooklyn Friday night to protest the New York Police Department’s alleged brutality as well as a plan to add 500 officers to the force to monitor the subways and arrest anyone who jumps the turnstiles instead of paying the $2.75 fee.
According to the New York Post, the protesters “descended on Downtown Brooklyn Friday night, blocking traffic, vandalizing a city bus and shouting obscene insults at NYPD cops.” They unfurled large banners that said “F— the police” and “Don’t let these pigs touch us,” the newspaper reported.
The demonstration came after on Oct. 25 two physical altercations involving police in separate Brooklyn subway stations were captured on video. In one, several police officers are seen tackling a 19-year-old black man whom they suspected of carrying a firearm. He was later found to be unarmed but was charged with theft of services for turnstile jumping.
In another video, an officer breaks up a fight between two groups on a subway platform and ends up punching two black teenagers in the brawl.
Not the first subway ride for Ocasio-Cortez
Ocasio-Cortez has endorsed lawbreaking for social justice before.
Last month, the Democrat promoted an anti-fascist group’s campaign to raise bail money for activists who were jailed while protesting the “straight pride parade” in Boston. According to various news reports, many of the counterprotesters identified as members of antifa.
Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressely, a fellow member of the “Squad” of left-wing first-term Democrats, also helped raise funds.
During a podcast interview in July, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that marginalized groups have “no choice but to riot” when pushed too far.
“I believe that injustice is a threat to the safety of all people, because once you have a group that is marginalized and marginalized and marginalized, then you create a … like, once someone doesn’t have access to clean water, they have no choice but to riot,” she said.
“I’m talking about communities in poverty in the United States. I’m talking about Latin America. I’m talking about like all over the world.”