Therese Patricia Okoumo spent her holiday scaling the base of the Statue of Liberty in protest of President Trump's immigration policies, which included separating migrant parents from their children at the US-Mexico border.
Earlier on Wednesday, the "Rise and Resist" protest group dropped a banner that read "Abolish ICE" from the base of the statue, according to ABC7. Rise and Resist member Jay Walker told the New York Daily News that she's joined the group weekly for protests over the past four to five months over Trump's various immigration crackdowns. The protester climbed all the way to the very base of the statue, itself, sitting just below Lady Liberty's raised heel.
As they approached, she initially moved away, took off her shoes and appeared to be starting to climb further. She was eventually tethered between two officers and climbed down to the promontory via a ladder to safety. They spoke to her for about three hours before she was brought down.
Owing to the situation, people on their way to Liberty Island were not allowed to enter the park and people already there were evacuated. Crowds cheered in front of the courthouse as she stepped up to a podium to speak publicly for the first time since the climb.
"Once we could safely get up, I explained to her, 'We want you to come down, '" Glacken said. "It's our busiest week of the year, historically", Willis continued.
"She is refusing to cooperate and our efforts to engage her are ongoing at this minute", Sgt. David Somma, a spokesman for the National Park Service, told Reuters before the woman was apprehended. The National Park Service chose to evacuate more than 4,000 visitors from Liberty Island on Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution", said spokesman Jerry Willis.
She is now facing multiple federal charges including trespassing and disorderly conduct. It was later found out that the other seven had a banner stating "Abolish ICE", but the climber was not with them.
Members of the Rise and Resist group gathered outside court in Manhattan ahead of the appearance to show their support, reports CBS New York. "She was on the copper of a national icon", Willis said, adding that the copper is very thin and malleable.
Okoumou is now being held in federal custody and is scheduled to appear in a Manhattan court on Thursday.