Patricia Okoumou, the activist who climbed the statue of liberty to protest the detention of immigrant children last year, won’t face any jail time for her actions. From AM New York:
U.S. Magistrate Gabriel Gorenstein ordered Okoumou to serve 200 hours of community service and put her on probation for five years, warning he will jail her if she commits any more protest crimes.
The sentence came after Okoumou showed up in court with her face covered in tape to protest suppression of her expression. “I am not a criminal,” she told the judge…
Her protest last July led to the evacuation of Liberty Island. She was convicted in December by Gorenstein of trespass, disorderly conduct and interfering with governmental administration.
The judge’s warning rings a bit hollow. After her conviction, Okoumou traveled to Paris where she climbed the Eiffel Tower. Then, in February she climbed the Southwest Key building in Austin, Texas. From Public Radio International:
In November, Okoumou attempted to climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France — it was France that gifted the US the Statue of Liberty — with a banner reading #ReturnTheChildren. She wanted to urge the United Nations to investigate US immigration policy. In Austin, Texas, this February, she scaled a four-story building housing a nonprofit that runs shelters for detained undocumented children. She remained on the building for eight hours, and charged with a misdemeanor. Citing that action, on March 1 in New York, Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein put Okoumou under house arrest and made her wear an ankle bracelet.
Judge Gorenstein could have put her in jail immediately after the Austin stunt but chose not to do so. He told her to start looking for a job, aware that her activism is currently how she supports herself. But Okoumou didn’t show much respect for the judge. Her GoFundMe page, which has raised $23,825 for her activism, says this:
Don’t listen to the judge, instead – GoFundMe in his name. Federal Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein doesn’t put food on my table – you do. This rotten system wants to distract me from my activism work to #FreeTheChildren: bit.ly/OkoumouGoFundMe .
Here’s video of Okoumou’s stunt on the Statue of Liberty and below that is a report on her climb of the Southwest Key building in Austin. Next time she tries this, she’s going to be the one who winds up in detention: