Speaking at an event commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Ocasio-Cortez knocked her own party for not being progressive enough.
"We don't have a left party in the United States. The Democratic Party is not a left party," the freshman congresswoman began, which sparked applause from the audience. "The Democratic Party is a center or a center-conservative party.”
She continued, "We can't even get a floor vote on Medicare-for-all -- not even a floor voted that gets voted down. We can't even get a vote on it. So this is not a left party. There are left members inside the Democratic Party that are working to try to make that shift happen."
The Democratic "Squad" member also compared Monday's gun rights protest in Richmond, Va., to the protests that followed the deaths of Freddie Gray and Eric Garner and questioned what she thought was the lack of police presence at the commonwealth's capital.
"There's this gun rights protest that's going on in Richmond ... on MLK Day, but here's the image that has [stuck] with me the most about that is that when we go out and march for the dignity and the recognition of the lives of people like Freddie Gray and Eric Garner," Ocasio-Cortez explained, "the whole place is surrounded by police in riot gear without a gun in sight. And here are all of these people flying Confederate flags with semiautomatic weapons and there's almost no police officers at that protest."
She then asked, "So who or what are our institutions protecting from who? And that image conveys it all, conveys it all."
According to one Virginia reporter, at least one Confederate flag was seen at the protest that was attended by thousands of pro-Second Amendment advocates.