THIS FIGHT ISN’T OVER
Statue of Liberty Protester Found Guilty on All Charges, Stands Strong: ‘I Am on the Right Side of History’ https://www.theroot.com/statue-of-liberty-protester-found-guilty-on-all-charges-1831172357.
Statue of Liberty Climber Guilty of Trespassing for Immigration Protest
- Dec. 17, 2018
NEW YORK — A woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty’s stone pedestal to protest U.S. immigration policy declared in federal court on Monday she would do it again to call attention to the plight of families separated at the border and was found guilty of trespassing. https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/12/17/us/17reuters-new-york-statue.html.
I had a bench trial in which Judge Gabriel Gorenstein found me guilty on all three counts of federal misdemeanors related to my action on July 04th when I scaled the Statue of Liberty to demand that Trump immediately reunite all detained migrant children with their families.
“Remember, I did sacrifice my life on the Fourth of July. I could’ve fallen. The police could’ve shot me. Anything could’ve happened,” she said. “I did it for the children. They need to be released immediately. It’s not right to have children in cages and holidays go by, birthdays go by, and we’re just sitting around and watching and being comfortable.” https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2018/12/17/statue-of-liberty-climb-bench-trial.
“I’m hoping that this is an opportunity for me not only to talk to the judge but to the whole world as I did on the 4th of July to remind everyone that we have children in cages and there are still a lot of children in cages,” Okoumou said to PIX11 News. “No child belongs in a cage. Period.” https://pix11.com/2018/12/17/statue-of-liberty-climber-found-guilty-on-3-federal-charges/.
“I wanted to send a strong statement that children do not belong in cages,” she told the court while choking up. “Donald J. Trump came up with this zero-tolerance policy (of separation). I have had nightmares and night sweats,” she added. Asked by one of her attorneys, Ron Kuby, if, given the chance, she would do it again, she simply added, “Yes.” Okoumou will be sentenced on March 5. https://www.amny.com/news/statue-of-liberty-climber-guilty-1.24684302.
Okoumou said she couldn’t live with the sight of “children in cages” without bringing the issue to a wider audience. “Instead of treating them with kindness, what we’ve shown them is cages,” she said after court. “So if I go in the cage with them, I am on the right side of history. I do not regret my actions on the Fourth of July.” https://abc7ny.com/statue-of-liberty-climber-therese-okoumou-found-guilty/4914883/.
“Unfortunately, as long as our children are being placed in cages my moral values call for me to do something about it,” Okoumou—outfitted in a blue headband that read “I care,” harkening back to Melania Trump’s tone-deaf border visit outfit—tearfully said on the stand. Would she stage the same protest again, her lawyer asked? “Yes,” she reportedly replied. http://gothamist.com/2018/12/17/statue_liberty_climber_guilty.php.
“I couldn’t live with the guilt—our country was imprisoning children, ripping tender-aged children from their mother. To me, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Okoumou told Jezebel.
Esther Wang, “I’m pretty sure we’re charging the wrong people with crimes related to the Trump administration’s inhumane treatment of immigrants and their families.” https://jezebel.com/statue-of-liberty-climber-therese-patricia-okoumou-foun-1831155656.
Okoumou told reporters after the hearing that she does not regret her action and believes she is “on the right side of history.” “Our laws sometimes lack morality and this is the perfect example of that,” she said. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/statue-of-liberty-protestor-found-guilty_us_5c180782e4b0432554c308d6.
“I wanted to send a strong statement that children do not belong in cages,” said Okoumou, on Monday morning at the start of her trial at the Manhattan federal court. “We stand on the right side of the history. I am not discouraged,” she said. “While 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.” “It would never happen in my country – we don’t treat children like political bait,” she said. “I just have had nightmares and night sweats.” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/17/statue-of-liberty-climber-trial-us-immigration.
Speaking after her trial, however, Okoumou said that she was “not discouraged,” and thanked her friends, supporters, and fellow Rise and Resist members. https://www.thecut.com/2018/12/therese-patricia-okoumou-found-guilty-statue-of-liberty-climb.html?_ga=2.131287183.186163342.1545159459-842679860.1544808778.
Therese Patricia Okoumou: “I’m really happy with the outcome because we are still talking about the children in these concentration camps. Thank you for those who are at home in solidarity with us, in spirit.” https://www.democracynow.org/2018/12/20/headlines/hhs_relaxes_sponsorship_requirement_for_migrant_children_in_govt_custody.