Therese Patricia Okoumou, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the Democratic Republic of Congo, has become a national hero after scaling the Statue of Liberty in protest.
On the Fourth of July, Okoumou, age 44, climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty to protest the administration’s anti-immigrant policies.
Her protest forced police to order an evacuation of Liberty Island, preventing some 3,000 people from visiting the island.
During a court hearing Thursday in Manhattan, Okoumou entered a not guilty plea on charges of trespassing, interference with government agency functions, and disorderly conduct.
When asked what motivated her to take such drastic action, she said that First Lady Michelle Obama inspired her.
“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