An immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo has spoken publicly for the first time since her arrest on Wednesday, as she climbed the Statue of Liberty in a protest over President Trump’s anti-immigrant policies. Her action prompted police to order an evacuation, with officials turning away some 3,000 people from Liberty Island on the Fourth of July holiday. At a Manhattan court Thursday, the 44-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, Therese Patricia Okoumou, pleaded not guilty to charges of trespassing, interference with government agency functions and disorderly conduct. In a statement after her arraignment, she said was compelled to protest because Trump’s policies have ripped the country apart.
Therese Patricia Okoumou: “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.”