New York, New York – A immigrant activists and personal trainer climbed up the Statue of Liberty to protest ICE.
Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, from Staten Island decided to create a firework show of her own this Fourth of July by climbing up the base of lady liberty and held up a shirt that read “ABOLISH I.C.E.
She began her journey around five o’clock in the afternoon until she was caught on surveillance camera by U.S. Park police and the New York Police Department. They quickly scrambled to the base and tried to coax her off the statue, but she “resisted” causing a major evacuation.
It was estimated that Liberty Island had 3,000 to 4,000 visitors, all were forced off the island and onto ferries.
Jerry Willis, a National Park Service spokesman, told local news outlets the event was “very unusual.
Theresa was arrested by police after she refused to be talked down, according to CNN.
She “resisted” for almost two hours, sitting under lady liberty sandal. Multiple TV cameras caught the brave actions of the police officers climbing the statue with ropes and climbing gear in order to reach her. She allegedly told police she wouldn’t come down until “all the children detained at the borders were released,” according to WNBC.
Okoumou wasn’t the only one protesting ICE that day, Rise and Resist planned a civil protest on the grounds of lady liberty. Rise and Resist are a direct action group committed to opposing, disrupting, and defeating any government act that threatens democracy, equality and our civil liberties,” according to their website. Rise and Resist spokesman Martin Joseph Quinn, told local news outlets at a press conference that the woman had been protesting with them but that scaling the statue was not planned. “She climbed without our knowledge,” he said. “It was not part of our action. We are deeply concerned for her safety.”
Later on Twitter, the organization wrote, “Rise and Resist planned a banner drop today at the Statue of Liberty. This action did not include the climber on the statue. Our action was completed earlier. While it was not part of our action, our first priority and concern is for the safety of the climber.” Rise and Resist is taking donations to help with legal fees.
It doesn’t surprise me,” Tito Rivera, the superintendent of her apartment building told the New York Daily News. “She’s very outspoken about the Trump administration” he said.
A woman who lives in her building said she wears her passions on her sleeve.
“She can be very nice and she can be a b—h,” said the woman, who declined to give the daily news her name. “When I vacuum, she bangs on the wall. I bang back, and she put a dent in my door.”
Therese, was born and educated in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but she has lived in New York for at least the last 10 years.
She’s expected to go before a magistrate sometime this week.
Stay tuned to BlackWestchester.com for further updates.