A Woman Climbed The Statue Of Liberty On The Fourth Of July To Protest Family Separation

The climber, Therese Patricia Okoumou, was eventually apprehended by officers after an hours-long standoff.

A woman attempted to climb the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday, prompting officials to evacuate the island.

The woman, identified by the Associated Press as Therese Patricia Okoumou, told first responders that she climbed onto the statue “for the children in Texas,” a NYPD officer told reporters Wednesday night.
Per public records and social media profiles, Okoumou is a resident of Staten Island and immigrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Police said Okoumou apologized to them for having to climb up and get her.

At approximately 6:31 p.m. ET, NYPD officers who had also scaled the base of the statue were seen taking Okoumou into custody.

National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis told the Associated Press that officers had been trying to persuade Okoumou to come down for approximately three hours.

Earlier Wednesday, the direct action group Rise and Resist protested at the landmark. At least six people were arrested by the United States Park Police after they unrolled a banner that read “Abolish ICE” near the base of the statue.

A National Park Service spokesman told the Associated Press that federal regulations prohibit hanging banners from the monument.

The group later said that while Okoumou is affiliated with their organization and participated in the protest, they did not know about her plans to scale the monument.

Rise and Resist said in a statement that Okoumou “was one of forty participants in our planned banner action, but her decision to climb the statue was made independently of the group, without consulting any other member of the group.”

“We understand and share her desire to see the immediate release of children from detention and reunion with their parents.”

By Ellie Hall [BuzzFeed]