Therese Okoumou Arrested For Protesting Trump’s Immigration Policy By Climbing Statue Of Liberty
On Wednesday’s Fourth of July holiday, a woman was arrested in New York after climbing the Statue of Liberty to protest President Donald Trump‘s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has resulted in thousands of undocumented families being separated at the southern border.
The woman, identified as 45-year-old Therese Patricia Okoumou, reportedly did not initially cooperate with authorities, but after police scaled the statue and talked to her, she did not resist.
According to CNN, Okoumou is a member of Rise and Resist, a New York-based group that had hung a banner on the statue that read “Abolish ICE.” This referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that has been strictly enforcing the prevention of illegal immigration and the separation of parents and children, the latter of whom have been kept in detention facilities. Amid severe backlash, Trump signed an executive order to end the family separations, and a California judge has also since ruled that families must be reunited within 30 days or even less in cases of parents with children under the age of 5.
Martin Joseph Quinn, an organizer of Rise and Resist, told CNN that Okoumou’s scaling of the State of Liberty was not part of their original planned protest. She stayed on the statue for almost three hours.
“At first, she wasn’t friendly with us, but we took the time to get a rapport with her so that took a while,” NYP Officer Brian Glacken told CNN. “She just kind of mentioned the kids in Texas. I guess the whole debate that’s going on about that. In the beginning, she threatened to push us off, push the ladder off, but we stayed with her.”
Police used a ladder to reach her and a harness and rope to bring her back down.
— Anthony DiLorenzo (@ADiLorenzoTV) July 4, 2018
Rise and Resist also issued the following statement about the situation involving Okoumou:
In case you missed it, here is our statement in support of Patricia. https://t.co/THWLPEmNAM
— Rise and Resist (@riseandresistny) July 5, 2018
Okoumou is reportedly a Congolese immigrant living in Staten Island who was previously arrested in 2017 for injuring a policeman during a protest outside the Labor Department’s offices.