Statue of Liberty climber unrepentant; Trump calls her clown

Statue of Liberty climber unrepentant; Trump calls her clown

Okoumou is expected to appear in Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday afternoon, where she'll likely face misdemeanor charges including trespassing, disorderly conduct and violating national park regulations.

"A Staten Island personal trainer and naturalized citizen who came here in 1994, Okoumou was calmly defiant as she told a crowd of supporters she'd been inspired by Michelle Obama: "(She) said, 'When they go low, we go high, ' and I went as high as I could".

Okoumou, 44, is a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo but now resides in Staten Island and has lived in NY for roughly a decade.

The protester was charged with trespassing, interference with government agency functions for what the USA attorney called a "dangerous stunt".

"This incident caused disruption to thousands of visitors on one of the busiest days of the year at the Statue of Liberty", US Park Police Major Pamela Smith said.

Emergency Service Unit Detective Brian Glacken said Okoumou initially threatened to push them off the 150-foot perch before allowing them to retrieve her.

Hours later at a rally in Great Falls, Montana, Trump told the crowd: 'I would've said: "Let's get some nets and wait 'til she comes down"'.

She engaged in a four-hour standoff with authorities on Liberty Island before two NYPD officers climbed up to the base and forced her towards a ladder.

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Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman accused Okoumou of staging "a risky stunt that alarmed the public and endangered her own life" and those of police.

Okoumou, who goes by her middle name, Patricia, sported a T-shirt reading "White Supremacy is Terrorism" that she had worn inside-out in court. After much outrage, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end this policy (even though it's his administration that enacted it in the first place), but this action hasn't helped reunite all of the about 2,000 families torn apart.

"We assume that she is protesting", Willis said, based on the woman's remarks to police.

Average attendance to the island on the Fourth of July is usually around 20,000 to 25,000 people, agency spokesperson Jerry Willis said.

"That statue has been out in the middle of New York Harbor for 130 years - with hurricanes and lightning and everything that nature has thrown at her", he said.

Jay Walker, an organizer with Rise and Resist which opposes the Trump administration's policies, aaid the other demonstrators had no idea Okoumou would make the ascent, which wasn't part of the planned protest. "She's survived quite well".

Todd Bice, Davidson's attorney, said in response to the ruling: "As the court noted, Mr. Davidson's artistic creation of the Las Vegas Lady Liberty is highly unique and attractive which is what prompted the US Postal Service to select a photo of his work for the second ever Forever Stamp, over hundreds of other images".

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