On Independence Day, a woman climbed to the base of the Statue of Liberty around 3 p.m., at times waving a t-shirt and both laying on her back along Lady Liberty’s robe, and also crawling on her knees along the edge of the statue’s feet. For over three hours she crossed back and forth on the base of the statue, at times sitting down in the folds of the statue’s dress, and under Lady Liberty’s sandal.
On the other side of the statue, police could be seen scaling the base with a ladder, talking to the woman, who was wearing a “Rise and Resist” t-shirt on one side and ‘Trump-Care Makes Us Sick’ on the other.
In the meantime, visitors were evacuated from Liberty Island via ferry as a precaution as the U.S. Parks workers tried to talk the woman down. The Harbor Unit, Aviation Unit and NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit were all called in to assist the Parks Police, according to NYPD spokeswoman.
“We’ve had two unusual events occur back-to-back,” National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis told Eyewitness News. “So for the safety and security of our visitors, we decided to evacuate for the day.”
The woman declared that she would not come down until “all the children are released,” a source with the New York Police Department told reporters at the scene.
At first, authorities thought the daredevil was part of an anti-Immigration and Customs Enforcement protest, “Abolish Ice”, that was sponsored by the group Rise and Resist, which had been held earlier today on the island. When members of the group were asked, they said the climber was not part of their protest.
Earlier in the day, protesters deployed a banner that read “Abolish ICE” from the base of the statue.
The group told reporters that the woman who climbed the base of the statue was never involved in the “Abolish ICE” protest.
An organizer of the Rise and Resist, Martin Joseph Quinn told CNN that although the woman was affiliated with the group, that her climb was not part of the planned protest. “She climbed without our knowledge. It was not part of our action. We are deeply concerned for her safety,” Quinn said.
Two officers, tethered with climbing gear and ropes, made their way across the base of the 305-foot-high statue, to reach the woman who seemed to be trying to climb (unsuccessfully) up Lady Liberty’s sandal, not ready to surrender. The officers connected a harness and ropes to help bring her down, walking her back across the base and over to the ladder where she descended and was led inside the base of the statue without incident.
Therese Patricia Okoumou, from Staten Island, was arrested on Wednesday after the three-hour standoff with police, and after being arraigned on three misdemeanour charges, she was released from federal custody at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, by Magistrate Judge Ona Wang, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The 45-year-old protester was charged with interference with governmental administration, disorderly conduct and trespassing. Okoumou exited the courtroom wearing a t-shirt that read “White Supremacy Is Terrorism”, and was met by a group of reporters, waiting for her on the courthouse lawn.
In a statement by U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman he called Okoumou’s actions a “dangerous stunt” that endangered lives, “While we must and do respect the rights of the people to peaceable protest, that right does not extend to breaking the law in ways that put others at risk.”
Okoumou thanked the U.S. Park Police outside the court post release for their professionalism and courtesy, but said the government’s “draconian policy” on immigration must end.
“In a democracy we do not put children in cages,” Okoumou told reporters outside the courthouse. “The judge told me not to do it again. But I think the message was sent.”
Okoumou was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo before moving to New York, according to a fellow protester, Jamie Bauer. Okoumou works as a personal trainer and also a physical therapist. This was not her first time being arrested for protesting, having been charged at least once before, in 2017, the New York Daily News reported.
Okoumou’s attorney, Rhidaya Shodhan Trivedi, told reporters:”We are going to keep fighting until family separation is a thing of the past.”
Inside the courtroom’s public gallery, around two dozen people gathered, including some of Okoumou’s fellow protesters from the day before.
“People are learning about ‘Abolish ICE,’ they’re learning that there are other options,” said Martin Quinn, organizer of ‘Rise and Resist’.
The next hearing in Okoumou’s case is set for August 3rd.
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San Francisco Board of Elections to Allow Non-Citizens to Vote
After two failed votes, the San Francisco Board of Elections has finally attained its goal of allowing illegal immigrants to vote in local elections.
“Monday the Department of Elections Issued Voter Registration Forms for non-citizens who are eligible to vote for members of the San Francisco Board of Education in the November 6th 2018 election,” says an ABC San Francisco report. “The measure passed in 2016 with a close vote of 54 percent to 46 percent following two failed previous attempts.”
San Francisco will be the first city in California to allow illegals to vote.
“We want to give immigrants the right to vote,” said Supervisor Norman Yee who represents District 7.
Immigrants already have the right to vote – legal ones, that is. But the political left continues to make a mockery of the American immigration system, spitting in the faces of everyone who comes to this country legally.
“As a parent myself and a former member of the SF Board of Education it is critical that the voices of all parents are at the table particularly those that have historically been denied a voice in the process,” said Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer who represents District 1.
Some sane people disagreed with the vote.
Harmeet Dhillon, Republican National Committeewoman from California voted against the measure in 2016, and spoke out against the latest vote.
“The reason I voted against it is that I think the right to vote is something that goes along with citizenship and should be,” Dhillon said. “I don’t think that people who have otherwise tenuous ties to San Francisco given their lack of legal residence should be making long term decisions about that structure and process.”
Now, the only requirement to vote in the San Francisco Board of Education election is being a resident of the city who is 18 years of age at the time of the election.
The measure allows illegals to vote through 2022, unless the city permanently adopts the ordinance.
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San Francisco Board of Elections to Allow Non-Citizens to Vote
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