Ms. Therese Okoumou, the ‘Rise and Resist’ protester who scaled the Statue of Liberty and caused the evacuation of thousands of tourists, has a history of participating in anti-Trump protests. In August 2017, she was arrested for trespassing and obstruction of government administration during a demonstration at the New York Department of Labor. At the time, Ms. Okoumou was charged with misdemeanor assault after striking a police officer during her arrest.
Yesterday, Ms. Okoumuo, a Congolese immigrant who arrived 10 years ago and lives in Staten Island, climbed the Statue of Liberty on Independence Day whilst wearing a t-shirt that said 'Rise and Resist' on one side and 'Trump Care Makes Us Sick' on the other.
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The Congolese immigrant knows the US justice system pretty well apparently, as she has already amassed a long history of pursuing anti-discrimination campaigns.
In 2003, she filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit, claiming racial discrimination, against an employer.
In 2009, she filed against a towing company, County Recovery, after she accused an employee of calling her a 'n*' and saying she should be shipped back to Africa.
Mr. Tito Rivera, who works as a superintendent in the apartment building where she lives claims he is not surprised: “She's very outspoken about the Trump administration.”
The Rise And Resist action, during which an ‘Abolish ICE’ banner was hung from the statue, caused 4,500 tourists to be evacuated from Liberty Island, as officials feared for everyone’s safety during the protests.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty was taken into custody. <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCNews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBCNews</a> says she told police she wouldn’t leave until all the children detained by ICE were released. <br><br>Earlier, several protesters were arrested for holding up an "ABOLISH ICE" banner. <a href="https://t.co/DLloYbJ5Lo">pic.twitter.com/DLloYbJ5Lo</a></p>— AJ+ (@ajplus) <a href="https://twitter.com/ajplus/status/1014646154154274816?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 4, 2018</a></blockquote>
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A Rise and Resist member named Ms. Annette Guadino explained the action: "While the people who were doing the banner were taken and detained by park police, we became aware that there was a climber on the statue."
"We did not know until just now, just a few minutes ago on the ferry when someone showed us a photo and we were able to confirm that it is a Rise and Resist member who took this action on her own."
"She did not discuss it with anybody beforehand, and we were completely unaware. We found this out through the same way everybody else is finding it out, through the news."
The Black Lives Matter movement is now calling upon its supporters via social media to contact judicial services in New York to have Ms. Okoumuo released.