- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 21, 2023

NEW YORK — Anti-war demonstrators crashed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s town hall meeting in the Bronx and demanded Congress stop approving military aid for Ukraine to fight Russia.

Protesters began singing loudly as the congresswoman began her event Saturday in the Bronx neighborhood of Co-op City.

About a dozen demonstrators held signs that appeared to advocate against sending weapons to Ukraine and funding the war against Russia.

“Stop sending weapons to Ukraine,” one sign held by a woman in the chorus read.

Another sign read “Negotiate, don’t annihilate,” while someone else held one that read “No war with Russia or China.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was met with similar protesters at a town hall last year.

Democrats, who have traditionally been against wars, have been increasingly met with ire from left-wing activists who are against them supporting funding for Ukraine to fight Russia.

Rep. Adam Smith, Washington Democrat, was also recently the target of the anti-war group Code Pink at a recent event in the District of Columbia.

Last year, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez addressed the presence of protesters at her events, calling them Trump supporters who were “parroting pro-Putin talking points.”

“Ukraine, like other nations, has the right to self-determination,” she said on her Instagram.

Another heckler, unaffiliated with the first group, also disrupted the event several times, interrupting Ms. Ocasio-Cortez over his disagreements with her and the “Squad” of liberal legislators in Congress.

The man was eventually escorted out after several disruptions. The rest of the crowd booed him for the constant interruptions.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez discussed how she sought to pursue governing in the minority, as well as the funding that was brought back to her district for community projects.

Constituents asked about infrastructure needs, green energy ideas, and if there was a real threat to Social Security and Medicare programs under a GOP-controlled House.

The congresswoman inherited the Bronx neighborhood of Co-op City where the town hall took place through redistricting last year. It previously fell in Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s district.

During the New York City mayoral election, it was prime stomping ground for candidates wanting to capture the very diverse district.

Several candidates for mayor and other offices often campaign in the neighborhood, though many in the audience said it’s rare to see elected officials pass through once in office.

“This is the first time I’ve seen her,” said Alfredo Gonzalez, a retired union transit worker. “She’s representing us now, so we’ll have to see what she does, especially for this community.”

Shelley Tucker, an operations project manager, mirrored Mr. Gonzalez’s sentiment about feeling neglected by her representatives in the past.

“I always see campaign signs, but I never really see people come here,” Ms. Tucker said. “The fact that she is doing this here I think makes me hopeful.”

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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