A woman was spotted Wednesday scaling the base of the Statue of Liberty and was subsequently arrested and charged with federal trespassing, disorderly conduct and other charges. The woman, Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, climbed onto the statue as part of a protest against U.S. immigration policy. Okoumou is actually an immigrant herself having been born and educated in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but she has lived in New York for the last 10 years.
According to fellow demonstrators, Okoumou is an active participant in the resistance movement against President Trump and has been taking part in about one protest a week with the group Rise and Resist.
The group unfurled an "Abolish ICE" banner at the base of the statue on Independence Day.
According to group member Jay Walker, the group did not approve of her stunt but were concerned for her well-being.
“No one in the group knew this was going to happen,” Walker said. “We don’t know if she did it on the spur of the moment or if she had been planning it beforehand... I hope when they took her down they didn’t injure her. That’s our main concern.”
This is not Okoumou's first run in with the law over fighting social justice battles.
In August 2017, Okoumou was arrested for trespassing and was charged with misdemeanor assault after a cop was hit when she flailed her legs in a refusal to leave a building under police demands during a demonstration against the state Department of Labor.
Okoumou won a racial discrimination lawsuit against a Staten Island towing company in 2009 and filed a human rights complaint in 2007 against a group home in Staten Island also for racial discrimination, which she lost.
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