Connect with us

Featured

AOC says Pelosi, Schumer need to go

Published

on

alexandria ocasio cortez

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said that the Democratic Party needs new leadership, specifically stating that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer need to go. She warned, however, that a power vacuum within the Democratic Party could be filled by “nefarious” forces who are “even more conservative” than the current caucus leaders.

The self-described democratic socialist made the remarks during a podcast interview on “The Intercept” that aired Thursday.

“I do think we need new leadership in the Democratic Party,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I think one of the things that I have struggled with, I think that a lot of people struggle with, is the internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there [are] very little options for succession.”

Pelosi, who is 80 years old, was handily re-elected as speaker for another two-year term last month, despite the Democrats’ lackluster performance in U.S. House races in which they unexpectedly lost a handful of seats to Republicans. She first ascended to the speakership in 2006, which made her the first—and still only—to serve in the influential role. She has indicated that this will be her final term as speaker.

Since the 2020 election, Democrats from different factions have clashed with each other over the direction of the party as the progressive wing’s influence has grown meteorically in recent years, thanks in part to Ocasio-Cortez, who was first elected during the 2018 midterm elections. A major incident occurred on a November 5 Democratic conference call, during which moderate Rep. Abigail Spanberger (Va.) and other Democrats reportedly criticized progressives and accused them of playing a role in their 2020 losses.

Schumer, who is 70 years old, also easily won re-election as Senate Minority Leader unopposed.

The direction of the party’s leadership also concerned Ocasio-Cortez, indicating that a power vacuum could allow members who are more conservative than the current leadership to seize the reins.

“My concern—and I acknowledge this as a failing, as something that we need to sort out—is that there isn’t a plan,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “How do we fill that vacuum? Because if you create that vacuum, there are so many nefarious forces at play to fill that vacuum with something even worse. And so, the actual sad state of affairs is that there are folks more conservative than even they are willing to kind of fill that void.”

The New York City congresswoman also said that there are a lack of leadership opportunities, which ultimately spurs talented freshmen representatives to depart Capitol Hill or to run for statewide office instead.

RELATED: GOP Senator and Dem fmr. Governor: It’s time for term limits in Congress

“The answer is we need to shift power,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We need to make sure that we have a transition of power in the Democratic Party.”

The Bronx and Queens congresswoman shut down the possibility of running for House leadership anytime soon.

“The House is extraordinarily complex and I’m not ready,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “It can’t be me. I know that I couldn’t do that job.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

You may like

Continue Reading

China

REPORT: China uses psychiatric institutions to suppress dissent

Published

on

China shutterstock 1376982239

China has a vast network of psychiatric institutions that it uses to suppress dissent, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. The report compiled data found on 99 victims involved in 144 instances on involuntary hospitalizations in 109 institutions from 2015 through 2021. Of the 99 victims in the report, 80 were petitioners [i.e., those who file complaints against officials] and 14 were activists.

But this is hardly a new phenomenon. “China’s regime has been torturing, maiming, and killing dissidents and others in psychiatric facilities for seven decades,” said Gordon G. Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China and The Great U.S.-China Tech War. “The only way to end the horrific abuse is to end the rule of the Communist Party.”

The report detailed especially harsh treatments, which include: forced medication (in 77 percent of cases), physical restraints on the bed (60 percent), beatings by staff or other patients (25 percent) and electroshock therapy (14 percent). Otherwise normally healthy people were given anti-psychotic and psychotropic medications, causing severe side effects like memory loss, insomnia and tremors. Electroshock therapy was often administered to the victims as they were fully conscious, rather than under anesthesia in small doses as would be clinically appropriate for certain patients.  According to the report, “[Electroshock therapy] without anesthesia is not only unimaginably painful and frightening for the patient but carries serious side effects, including the risk of bone fractures, joint dislocation, muscle tears, disruption of the heart beat and lung damage.”

Family and friends are often used as weapons against the victims. They were not permitted to call or visit the victims in 76 percent of cases, which essentially makes these cases “enforced disappearances.” 11 percent of cases were committed with the assistance of family (either voluntarily or coerced by authorities). Family and friends who petition for the victim’s release are often faced with persecution, and involuntarily commitment themselves.

The peak of psychiatric detentions occurred from 2015 through 2016, which was around the same time as China’s “709 Crackdown” where the government persecuted hundreds of human rights lawyers.

Some of the detentions are rather draconian. As a petitioner who called for local authorities to investigate a robbery in his house, Zeng Jiping was detained for almost two years. For “live tweeting herself splashing paint over a portrait of Xi Jinping,” Dong Yaoqiong received 1 year, 4 months detention. Twenty-nine out of the 99 victims in the report were hospitalized more than once. In two-thirds of cases where data was known, the authorities did not perform a psychiatric evaluation, in direct violation of China’s Mental Health Law.

The report also gives the example of Andy Li, a member of the “Hong Kong 12” pro-democracy protestors, as falling victim to involuntary detention in Hong Kong’ Siu Lam Psychiatric Center in 2021. The report noted that, as Li’s family didn’t know about his detention, “Li’s cases appears to be a worrying sign that the political abuse of psychiatry practiced on the mainland is now being exported into Hong Kong…”

Those who are finally released from their involuntary committals face lasting physical and phycological pain, and stigma within their communities. People seeking damages for their treatment are often faced with doctors and attorneys who do not want to assist them for fear of retaliation from the government.

Conclusion

According to the report, China is using “peace and health asylums” and other healthcare institutions to “punish and remove activists and petitioners from society without the trouble of going through a trial.” While the report details various Chinese laws that are supposed to protect citizens from such involuntary hospitalizations, in reality Chinese authorities do not abide by these laws and the citizens are not protected. The policy of involuntary hospitalizations show the extent to which the Chinese Communist Party will go to suppress dissent.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

You may like

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending Now

Advertisement

Trending

Proudly Made In America | © 2022 M3 Media Management, LLC