Woman Who Climbed Statue of Liberty to Protest Family Separation Found Guilty

Therese Patricia Okoumou Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Therese Patricia Okoumou, the woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty on July 4 in protest of Trump’s immigration policies, has been found guilty on charges of disorderly conduct, trespassing, and interfering with government agency functions.

At a Manhattan federal court on Monday, Judge Gabriel Gorenstein convicted Okoumou on all three charges, which collectively could send her to jail for up to 18 months. As ABC7 New York reports, she will be sentenced on March 5. She pleaded not guilty.

Okoumou had made the climb up the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July to protest President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. She came to Liberty Island as part of the organization Rise and Resist, which hung up a banner that read “Abolish ICE.” Okoumou was arrested after a three-hour standoff with police.

“Trump has wrecked this country apart. It is depressing, it is outrageous,” she said after being released on her own recognizance in July. “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. In a democracy, we do not put children in cages. Period.”

According to the Guardian, Gorenstein said that he would be violating the oath of his office if he didn’t uphold the law, no matter what Okoumou’s motivations were.

Speaking after her trial, however, Okoumou said that she was “not discouraged,” and thanked her friends, supporters, and fellow Rise and Resist members.

“We stand on the right side of the history. I am not discouraged,” she said. “Migrant children who simply came to this country, like our ancestors did, to seek happiness, freedom and liberation. Instead of welcoming them like Lady Liberty symbolizes, instead of treating them with kindness, what we showed them is cages. So if I go in a cage with them, I am on the right side of history.”

Woman Who Climbed Statue of Liberty Has Been Found Guilty