Thursday, July 05, 2018

Immigrant Protester climbs the folds of Liberty's robe

 Ask people to come up with an image that symbolizes America’s immigrant heritage, and many of them will choose the Statue of Liberty. A gift from the people of France, she has watched over New York Harbor since 1886, and on her base is a tablet inscribed with words penned by Emma Lazarus in 1883:

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

To some Americans, the words of Emma Lazarus are America's national credo. Others say they’re the national curse. What do you think? Credo? Curse? Both? Neither?
The woman who climbed up on the Statue of Liberty and sat on the monument's base is in detention, police say. Tourists were evacuated from Liberty Island in New York Harbour on Wednesday during a three-hour stand-off with local and federal authorities.
She has been identified as Therese Okoumou, a 44-year-old immigrant from DR Congo.
Ms Okoumou was reportedly protesting President Trump's zero-tolerance policy on immigration.
Earlier, several people were arrested after holding a protest at the statue.
Members of the activist group Rise and Resist had earlier unveiled an "Abolish Ice" banner on the statue's pedestal, which refers to the government's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency responsible for identifying and removing undocumented immigrants throughout the United States.
National Park Service police and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) were later called to the scene shortly after reports of an individual climbing the monument.
One eyewitness, Eric Kwasi Oppongto, posted a short video of the incident on Twitter which he said involved an individual with a T-shirt emblazoned with "Trump care makes me sick" and "Rise and Resist

It took police three hours to coax Ms Okoumou down via a ladder that had been secured to the statue's pedestal. They said prosecutors would decide later whether she would be charged with any crime.
Detective Brian Glacken of the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit said it had not been an easy operation.
"It was a really technical rescue just because of the slopes up there - I mean, it wasn't a flat surface. There was nothing for [my colleague] Chris [Williams] and I to grab on to," he said.
"At first she wasn't friendly with us but we took our time to basically get a dialogue with her... when we got her and she couldn't go any further I think she realized that her time and demonstration was up ."
Rise and Resist, which organized the earlier demonstration involving the Abolish Ice slogan, had initially denied any connection to the climber.  They later admitted Ms Okoumou, a personal trainer, had helped plan the banner demonstration but that she had carried out her climbing stunt alone.
Demonstrations have recently taken place right across the country after it emerged that Ice agents had separated thousands of  children and babies from parents who had entered the US illegally.
Wednesday's incidents took place on Independence day, July fourth. In February last year, protesters hung a"Refugees Welcome" banner across the Liberty statue's observation deck. What better place ???
Unfortunately, attaching items to the national monument,  the proud symbol of American acceptance of immigrants, is strictly prohibited, according to the state's National Park Service police.


  1. Good for her calling attention to tRUMP insane childish antics ... I bet tRump is shitting in hid pants ... she is a black woman ...some are wondering how she scaled up there ... the pink tennis shoes look like rock climbing shoes ... smart lady KUdOS to her
    Good articles
    Love Witchy


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