Therese Patricia Okoumou Climbs Statue Of Liberty To Protest Detained Children | Care2 Causes
Migrant families are desperately fleeing violence and poverty at home, and in response, the United States has ripped immigrant children from their parents — either detaining them alone in camps and cages or sending them into foster care with strangers. Despite this injustice, most Americans spent Fourth of July celebrating the anniversary of U.S. independence from Great Britain.
But Therese Patricia Okoumou spent her holiday at the feet of Lady Liberty in protest.
Okoumou, an immigrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a naturalized U.S. citizen. She put her safety and potentially even her citizen status in jeopardy after climbing the base of the Statue of Liberty on July 4 and remaining there for four hours.
Okoumou’s act of protest caused police to close off Liberty Island for hours “out of an abundance of caution,” a move that authorities claimed impacted as many as 25,000 visitors that day — all of whom were free do go to other areas to celebrate the holiday, unlike the over 2,000 children being detained by the government.
That’s exactly what Okoumou hoped to draw attention to with her action. “Michelle Obama … said when they go low, we go high. And I went as high as I could,” she told reporters after her first court appearance. “No children belong in a cage.”