Radical activist Therese “Patricia” Okoumou, 44, is back in the news again. You remember her. She was the one that clambered up the Statue of Liberty and onto her right foot and then had to be rescued by police at great expense. She also caused the monument to be shut down for a time on July the 4th because of her actions. She did it to protest President Trump and his immigration policies. She is part of a revolutionary group that stands against pretty much everything that President Trump stands for. It would seem she’s not done venting by a long shot.
Okoumou held a press conference outside the courthouse where she was being arraigned. She had a nasty surprise for those listening. She spewed anti-American hate speech to all with earshot. Okoumou calls herself an immigrant rights activist. She was in Manhattan federal court on Friday pushing for a no-jail guarantee from a judge. One of the U.S. Park Police officers even shook Okoumou’s hand as she left the courtroom. I don’t understand why after all the trouble she caused and what she stands for, but it was a diplomatic thing to do.
Ron Kuby, who is one of Okoumou’s attorneys, requested that the judge determine ahead of the trial if he would sentence Okoumou to jail time before she could take a plea deal. That’s something federal judges must do in certain misdemeanor cases, Kuby argued. “If I can receive an assurance from the court that my client would not go to jail,” Kuby said, his client would agree to take a plea deal. Manhattan Federal Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein said he wanted both sides to submit written motions on whether he should decide ahead of the trial if he would sentence her to prison time. I’ve never heard of such a thing. Why would you let someone being charged dictate a judge’s actions like this? Okoumou is also represented by Rhidaya “Rhiya” Trivedi from Kuby’s New York City firm.
After exiting the court and a 40-minute hearing, Kuby said Okoumou’s “non-violent civil disobedience… should not be penalized with a jail sentence. That should be rewarded.” You don’t say. That’s just nuts after what she did in my opinion. Okoumou wore a green dress with the words, “I really care, why won’t u?” written on it. That was an apparent slap at the “I really don’t care, do u?” jacket worn by First Lady Melania Trump.
Dozens of Okoumou’s supporters cheered her on outside the court. She was born in the Congo but is a naturalized citizen evidently. Then Okoumou showed her real feelings for the United States by chanting, “America you mother f–kers! You drug addicts! You KKK! You fascist USA.” One wonders if she hates it here so much, why she doesn’t leave.
Among her supporters that surrounded her at the press conference were members of her group, Rise and Resist. She called for that morning’s hearing to request a preliminary determination as to whether the judge intends to impose prison time. She pleaded not guilty on July 5th, but she faces a possible 1.5-year sentence if convicted on three charges against her: trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with agency functions. Frankly, she should also have to pay the bill for her rescue. “There is, however, a special rule in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that governs what we call petty offense, and that rule not only permits but requires the judge to make a preliminary determination as to the possibility of a jail sentence,” civil rights defense lawyer Ron Kuby told reporters outside the courthouse.
Okoumou was flanked by her attorneys as she addressed the media on August 3rd, following her appearance in federal court. Prosecutors called the protest a “dangerous stunt,” but attorney Kuby once again lauded his client’s actions. Calling her “Our Lady of Liberty,” Kuby said Okoumou’s protest was in line with “literally the highest traditions of nonviolent civil disobedience, captivating the attention of the world on America’s most special day to bring to the world’s attention the plight of immigrant children.” Disgusting. “Return the Children,” her supporters chanted, referencing the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration.
Staten Island-based Okoumou meanwhile has kept busy in the month since her arrest: assembling a team of support professionals, including a public relations strategist, fundraising experts, a social media specialist and a clothing designer.
From Courthouse News:
“Both inside and outside of the courthouse Friday Okoumou offered several statements opposing the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
“Reading a part of her speech in both French and English, Okoumou called on French President Emmanuel Macron directly to publicly renounce the Trump administration’s “barbaric and arbitrary” immigration laws.
“Okoumou also spoke about her involvement with the group Rise and Resist: “I am a member of Rise and Resist because its mission is simple: consistency and involvement in direct actions.”
“The New York City-based group described itself as “committed to opposing, disrupting, and defeating any government act that threatens democracy, equality, and our civil liberties.”
“Citing the legendary American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Okoumou proclaimed: “I submit that an individual who breaks the law their conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accept the penalty of imprisonment in order to arise the conscience of the community of its injustice is, in reality, expressing the highest respect for law.'”
And people wonder why Democrats are fleeing their party at a record rate and why American’s, in general, want nothing to do with them. This is a great example of why that is.