Statue of Liberty base climber identified

Pauline Gross
July 8, 2018

She put her safety and potentially even her citizen status in jeopardy after climbing the base of the Statue of Liberty on July 4 and remaining there for four hours.

Okoumou, a USA citizen who immigrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1994, pled not guilty to charges of misdemeanor trespassing, interference with government agency functions and disorderly conduct, according to CBS.

The banner said "Abolish I.C.E.", referring to part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Reflecting the sentiments of last weeks nationwide End Family Separation protests, members of Rise and Resist planned and executed a non-violent banner drop and human banner action at the Statue of Liberty on Independence Day. At around 6 p.m., police joined the woman at the statue's base-around 25 feet above the observation area-and took her into custody.

Social media photo show the woman atop the pedestal under Lady Liberty's foot, reports CBS2 in NY. The charges could include disorderly conduct, trespassing, and interfering with government functions-all of which are federal misdemeanors.

The National Park Service evacuated more than 4,000 visitors off Liberty Island as a precaution.

She, however, made a decision to climb the foot of the Statue and declared that she would not come down until all the children were released. "She could do some damage".

- She will appear in Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday.

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A group that organized an immigration protest at the statue earlier Wednesday says she had taken part in unfurling a banner at the statue's pedestal.

Rise and Resist is now working to secure her legal representation.

US Park Police said the incident caused disruption to thousands of visitors on the public holiday, one of the busiest days of the year at the statue.

A quote on the statue welcomes immigrants, reading: "Give me your exhausted, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free", and many believe Okoumou found that iconic structure as the ideal place to bring to the fore the plight of immigrant children being held away from their jailed parents.

Then she sat against the statue's foot, and the officers went up to her.

"Patricia was trying to convey the words that are on the statue-'Bring us your exhausted, your poor, '" demonstrator Martin Quinn said, paraphrasing. He said prosecutors would determine any charges filed against the woman.

She faces a maximum of six months in prison on each of those misdemeanor counts, and is due back in court on August 3.

His one-time "zero tolerance" practice of separating migrant parents from their children at the Mexican border triggered global condemnation.

Other reports by GizPress

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