Statue of Liberty Climber Speaks Out Against Trump Immigration Policy

Therese Okoumou also cited Michelle Obama’s “we go high” remarks.

NYPD

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Therese Patricia Okoumou, the woman who scaled the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies, spoke to reporters Thursday, where she continued speaking out against the push to separate migrant children from their families at the border.

Outside a Manhattan federal courthouse, where she pled not guilty to all charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing, Okoumou cited former first lady Michelle Obama in her remarks.

“Michelle Obama, our beloved First Lady that I care so much about said, ‘When they go low, we go high,’ and I went as high as I could,”  Okoumou said, sparking loud cheers from supporters.

She continued: “Trump has wrecked this country apart. It is depressing, it is outrageous. 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.”

On Wednesday, the National Park Service shut down Liberty Island after Okoumou climbed to the base of the Statue of Liberty and refused to come down. Police on the scene were forced to climb to where Okoumou had positioned herself. The three-hour standoff concluded with Okoumou eventually cooperating with police, who arrested her once they were safely back on the ground.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate