Protester Therese Okoumou Convicted Of Misdemeanor Charges After Climbing The Base Of Statue Of Liberty

Therese Patricia Okoumou, a Black activist who drew national attention after she climbed the Statue of Liberty in protest of Donald Trump's immigration policies, faces up to 18 months in prison.
Breanna Edwards Dec, 18, 2018

Therese Patricia Okoumou, the woman who scaled the base of the Statue of Liberty on July 4 in protest of children being separated from their parents at the Mexican border, has been found guilty of charges, which include trespassing and disorderly conduct.

According to the Associated Press, Okoumou faces up to 18 months in prison for her conviction.

Prosecutors accused Okoumou of endangering herself, rescuers and other visitors at the Statue of Liberty when she climbed up to the feet of the statue, prompting law enforcement officials to evacuate Liberty Island.

Okoumou for her part was just trying to bring light to the injustice of family separation, noting that the pictures taken from the border gave her nightmares and that she couldn’t live with seeing “children in cages” without doing her part to bring attention to the issue.

The activist was denied a jury trial, and her fate was ultimately decided by Judge Gabriel Gorenstein.

Her bold action drew public attention after she refused to come down from the statue until all the migrant children were released in a standoff that lasted some three hours.

Okoumou claimed that Michelle Obama inspired her actions in previous interviews.

“Michelle Obama — our beloved First Lady that I care so much about — said, ‘When they go low, we go high,’ and I went as high as I could,” she said shortly after her arraignment back in July. 

“Trump has wrecked this country apart. It is depressing, it is outrageous. I can say a lot of things about this monster, but I will stop at this: His draconian zero-tolerance policy on immigration has to go,” she added. “In a democracy, we do not put children in cages. Period.”