Woman climbs up Statue of Liberty on Fourth of July to protest

Howard TerryJul 06, 2018

ICE, or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is at the center of the Trump administration's shelved policy of separating some immigrant families at the U.S.

Police apprehended a woman on the Statue of Liberty's stone pedestal on Wednesday after a three-hour standoff that forced the evacuation of thousands of tourists from the New York Harbor landmark on Independence Day. For almost two hours, she crossed the base of the statue, at times sitting in the folds of the statue's dress and under Lady Liberty's sandal. CNN reports she told police she wouldn't come down until "all the children are released".

Several people who hung a banner from the Statue of Liberty's pedestal calling for abolishing the federal government's chief immigration enforcement agency were arrested on July Fourth shortly before a person scaled the statue's base, forcing its evacuation.

Media reports identify the woman as Therese Okoumou.

Police in NY were responding Wednesday afternoon to a woman climbing the Statue of Liberty.

"We don't know whether she had this planned before she ever got to Liberty Island or whether it was a spur-of-the-moment decision", Walker said.

"She just kind of mentioned the kids in Texas. And I went as high as I could", Okoumou said. The station says that the climber has made it as far as the middle of the statue. They were all charged a $50 citation for "unlawfully demonstrating".

Rise and Resist member Annette Guadino confirms to News 4 that the Statue of Liberty climber is a member of their organization but her action was taken on her own. "In the beginning, she threatened to push us off, push the ladder off, but we stayed with her", Glacken added. It was not part of our action. "It is depressing. It is outrageous", she said. Seven protesters were arrested over the unauthorized demonstration.

Okoumou is now being held in federal custody and is scheduled to appear in a Manhattan court on Thursday. Okoumou moved around occasionally and waved a t-shirt at times.

According to the NYDN, she works as a personal trainer by profession, per a 2009 Staten Island Advance article, and has worked around NYC and the Catskills as a physical therapist.

The New York City Police Department did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

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