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Monday, August 3, 2020

“When They Go Low, We Go High!”

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Curators and highlighters of news and accomplishments from the Global Majority. From tech to books, wellness to money, throughout the diaspora we are bringing content that is both unique and focused on showing the world our best.

Patricia Okoumou used Independence Day to make a bold statement about freedom in the America when she scaled the Statue of Liberty. Okoumou started climbing shortly after 3 p.m. on one of the busiest days of the year for Lady Liberty. National Park Service officials said that more than 20,000 tourists typically visit the monument each Fourth of July.

Okoumou, who was waving a T-shirt with the words “Trump Care Makes Us Sick” and wearing a Rise and Resist shirt, was arrested after a three-hour standoff.  She was charged with trespassing, interfering in an agency function and disorderly conduct. At her arraignment, the courtroom erupted in thunderous applause after she pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Rise and Resist, which didn’t commission the protest, said it will be covering her legal fees. Outside the courtroom, Okoumou, 44, said she was inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama, who said “when they go low, we go high.” Okoumou said, “I went as high as I could go!”


Okoumou, a personal trainer who lives on Staten Island, said she decided to take a Fourth of July immigration protest to the next level by clambering up Lady Liberty’s copper base and refusing to come down. Her one-woman movement caused the temporary shutdown of the statue and Liberty Island.

This isn’t the first recent protest at Lady Liberty. A banner saying “Refugees Welcome” was hung from the observation deck last February in response to Trump’s refugee ban. Check out Facts About Lady Liberty. 

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