On July 4, the US Independence Day, a woman staged a novel protest against President Trump’s immigration policy. The immigrant woman climbed up the base of the Statue of Liberty to protest the policy. She was arrested after a three-hour standoff between her and the police.
Who is she?
The woman has been identified as Therese Patricia Okoumou. She is an immigrant from Democratic Republic of the Congo, reported TOI.
The 44-year-old was protesting against Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy. The policy is said to have separated about 2,000 children from their parents and placed them into holding facilities. All this has taken place within the period of April 19 to May 31 this year. However, the order was revoked after largescale protests.
Therese sat at the statue’s base and refused to get down until all the children were released, a source with the New York Police Department told CNN.
She is a part of a protest group called ‘Rise and Resist’. However they issued a statement saying that her decision to climb up the Statue of liberty was taken independently, without any consultation with the group.
The officials soon ordered evacuation of the Liberty Island. As it was also the Independence Day, visitors in large numbers had come to see the iconic statue and America’s immigration history on the island.
Ending the impasse
Officer Brian Glacken in a news conference revealed that about 16 officers with the New York City Police Department were involved in the operation.
He said, “At first, she wasn’t friendly with us, but we took the time to get a rapport with her so that took a while.”
“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,” he added.
Officers soon reached her with with ropes and climbing gear. Initially she was a little aggressive but cooperated later. “She actually apologized to us for having to go up and get her,” Glacken said.
CNN reported that the Park police have recommended the case to the US attorney for the Southern District of New York. The charges include trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with government functions.
Not the first incident
Erlier, others had also protested here by holding a banner saying “Abolish ICE!” , around the base of the statue. At that time, seven people were arrested.
Organiser and board member of Rise and Resist, Jay W Walker, told CNN that the theme of the protest was that Lady Liberty is weeping over the unconstitutional excesses of ICE under President Trump’s administration.
]The Statue of Liberty is seen as a symbol of American values which are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
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Kriti Dwivedi is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv