Woman climbs Statue of Liberty to protest Trump immigration policies

Leroy Wright
July 6, 2018

A protest against US immigration policy forced the evacuation of the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July, with a group unfurling a banner from the pedestal and a woman holding police at bay for hours after she climbed the base and sat by the statue's robes.

The New York-based group opposes President Donald Trump's administration and advocates ending deportations and family separations at the U.S. -Mexico border. After several people were arrested in that demonstration, Okoumou walked to another part of the statue base and refused to move "until all the [migrant] children are released", a New York City Police Department official told CNN.

'Michelle Obama says when they go low, we go high, and I went as high as I could'. At first, he said Okoumou was not friendly with police, but after some conversation, she began trusting the officers. 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.

Seven other protesters were displaying banners, which read "Abolish ICE!" below her. "That's a representation of what the Statue of Liberty is there for".

Hot weather to last through the Fourth of July
Thunderstorms become more likely on Friday night and could linger into Saturday morning before clearing out on Saturday afternoon. The director the New York State Office for the Aging is warning senior citizens and their caregivers about high temperatures.

A protester is seen on the Statue of Liberty in New York, New York, US, July 4, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. Okoumou is expected to be charged with national park regulations or public use limit; trespassing; disorderly conduct, and interfering with government functions.

"As alleged in the information, the defendant staged a unsafe stunt that alarmed the public and endangered her own life and the lives of the NYPD officers who responded to the scene".

Tourists in NY no doubt wanted to see the Statue of Liberty up close on this Independence Day, but thanks to these protesters' illegal behavior, they'll have to wait until next year. "We don't know if she did it on the spur of the moment or if she had been planning it beforehand", group member Jay Walker told The New York Daily News. "She actually apologized to us for having to go up and get her". But Quinn added her climb was not part of the planned protest today.

The "Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World" was a gift of friendship from the people of Franche to the United States and is recognized as "a universal symbol of freedom and democracy", according to the National Park Service. By Wednesday evening, she was in federal custody, where she'll be transferred to a US Marshals office in Manhattan.

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