Connect with us

Statue of Liberty climber sentenced to community service, probation



A woman convicted of trespassing and disorderly conduct after she climbed the Statue of Liberty’s stone pedestal on July 4 last year to protest U.S. immigration policy was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and five years’ probation on Tuesday.

Therese Patricia Okoumou arrived at her sentencing hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein in Manhattan with her whole face in clear tape, wearing a headband that said “I CARE”. She removed the tape after Gorenstein said he would not proceed otherwise.

Okoumou was arrested after she scaled the base of the statue and began a three-hour standoff with police that led to the evacuation of Liberty Island on one of the landmark’s busiest days of the year.

She and her lawyer, Ron Kuby, later said her act of civil disobedience was primarily to demonstrate against the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from parents caught crossing the U.S. border illegally.

Administration officials said the policy was needed to secure the border, but it was ended in June after images of separated youngsters held in cage-like detention facilities sparked a furor both at home and abroad.

“This case is a fight against injustice,” Okoumou, a U.S. citizen born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, said before she was sentenced in a courtroom packed with her supporters. “Well into the 21st century, some are justifying the caging of migrant children.”


Prosecutors had asked that Okoumou spend at least a month in prison. Gorenstein said that was unnecessary to deter her from committing crimes, but he rebuked her for putting the lives of her rescuers in danger.

“A person with some empathy might have said today, ‘I’m sorry that I risked the lives of others,’” the judge said.

Gorenstein said he would consider a motion to end the probation early if Okoumou adhered to its terms.

Kuby said at the hearing that Okoumou had recently been offered a job at the nonprofit Salvage Art Institute.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Richard Chang

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump is unhappy in reality — so he’s inviting everyone into his world of make-believe: columnist



Confabulation is an unintentional event where someone's memory creates "fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world." Parataxic distortion is when a person tends to "skew perceptions" of others based on fantasy. Then there's political opportunism, a "diagnosis" that plagues politicians almost exclusively. Regardless of the cause, Washington Post syndicated columnist Michael Gerson noted President Donald Trump is not only creating his own reality, he's inviting his supporters to live inside of it.

Continue Reading


Trump elicits unintentional laughter in Oval Office meeting: My wars ‘don’t need exit strategies’



President Donald Trump revealed on Tuesday that he does not use exit strategies when planning for war.

During an Oval Office press gaggle, the president was asked if he had a plan for ending a possible war with Iran.

"You're not going to need an exit strategy," Trump opined, possibly misunderstanding the term. "I don't need exit strategies."

Some in the room could be heard audibly laughing as the president answered.

Watch the video below from CNN.

Continue Reading


Kid writes lesbian neighbors a note: You’ve ‘given me the courage to come out’



File this one under: why representation matters.Sal Stow and her partner Meghan Stabler of Round Rock, Texas, had no idea that flying a Pride flag outside of their home would lead to a social media blitz, appearances on Good Morning America, entries in People Magazine, or anything short of just a normal day in June. However, what actually happened is one for the record books.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]


Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

Learn how you can help.