Woman arrested after scaling Statue of Liberty in protest

Posted July 06, 2018

A woman was arrested Wednesday after staging a dramatic protest against President Donald Trump's separation of migrant families, climbing the Statue of Liberty and forcing its evacuation on Independence Day.

Det. Brian Glacken of the NYPD Emergency Services Unit said at press conference that Okoumou talked to them about the "children in Texas", referring to the Trump administration's policy that separated families who entered the country illegally. She declared she wouldn't come down until "all the children are released", a source with the New York Police Department told CNN.

"I expected when I first got up there, that first ledge we were standing on for I guess a good hour or so was nearly a 45-degree angle".

Okoumou, a 44-year-old naturalized citizen who immigrated from the Republic of Congo in 1994, was met with applause as she spoke outside court, saying that while she wouldn't repeat her actions, she believes her message got across.

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- Okoumou was seen at various points pacing back and forth on the base of the statue, lying down and then casually sitting down. Police officers were tethered to the statue, and after a brief standoff, they lowered Okoumou to safety.

Jay Walker, an organizer with Rise and Resist which opposes the Trump administration's policies, aaid the other demonstrators had no idea Okoumou would make the ascent, which wasn't part of the planned protest. In a democracy we do not rip children-we do not put children in cages, period.

Therese Okoumou is surrounded by supporters as she leaves Federal court on July 5, 2018, in NY.

"This incident caused disruption to thousands of visitors on one of the busiest days of the year at the Statue of Liberty", US Park Police Major Pamela Smith said.

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"Michelle Obama, our beloved First Lady that I care so much about said, 'When they go low, we go high, ' and I went as high as I could", Okoumou told the reporters outside a court in Manhattan amid loud cheers and applause.

Patricia Okoumou walks out of federal court from her arraignment, a day after authorities say she scaled the stone pedestal of the Statue of Liberty to protest U.S. immigration policy, in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 5, 2018.

For tourists visiting the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday, the 4th of July was a bit more colorful than expected. At around 6 p.m., police joined the woman at the statue's base-around 25 feet above the observation area-and took her into custody.

Okoumou was scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate for an arraignment hearing, a spokesman for the USA attorney's office in Manhattan said.

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If she is convicted of the charges, she could face up to 18 months behind bars.