Courageous Resister Patricia Okoumou was summoned to Federal Court on Friday, March 1. She was placed on house arrest until her scheduled sentencing on Tuesday, March 19.
Under the conditions of the “home detention,” she cannot step outside of her apartment unless she gives a two-day advance notice, e.g. to throw out the garbage, to buy groceries or to get the mail, or to see a doctor. Additionally, she is required to wear an ankle bracelet, as well as surrendering her passport.
These measures were slapped on her after she was arrested for climbing and occupying a children detention center in Texas chanting “Free the Children!” — nonviolently protesting the detention and separation of migrant children at the border!
At the height of the outrage against the U.S. government’s separation of migrant children at the border, Patricia Okoumou climbed the Statue of Liberty on July 4, 2018. She said, “When I climbed the Statue of Liberty, I wanted to express the urgency of stopping our government’s reprehensible and inhumane treatment of migrant children … I wanted no one to forget that children have been forced into cages and that we must do everything we can to stop the imprisonment of children … Parents are torn apart with grief and very little has been done to unite the families.”
Ron Kuby, Patricia’s attorney, stated, “Since Patricia Okoumou’s conduct was a profound act of conscience, it’s necessary and appropriate that she be tried by jury that is the conscience of the community.” This request was denied and Patricia faced a bench trial.
So, Patricia appeared in Federal court on December 17, 2018; and on that afternoon was found guilty of three misdemeanors: Trespassing, Interference of Government Function, and Disorderly Conduct. Judge Gabriel Gorenstein stating that the protester’s political and moral motivation did not “Trump” the law.
After the guilty verdict was read, Patricia said, “We stand on the right side of history. I am not discouraged. Migrant children came to this country … to seek happiness, freedom, and liberation. Instead of welcoming them … what we showed them is [sic] cages. So if I go in a cage with them, I am on the right side of history.”
Patricia will be sentenced on March 19th at the U.S. Courthouse, 500 Pearl St., Manhattan at 9:30 AM. She faces up to 18 months in prison. Come out to support Patricia, a brave and fearless freedom fighter, who by her action has made a powerful statement against the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime.
Patricia needs your support, see below on how you can help:
- Letter Writing Campaign. Contact U.S. Attorney Berman and urge no jail time; keep Patricia free from prison.
- Go here for fundraising video.
- Use the these hashtags: #WeDoCare #ReturnTheChildren #Patriciaokoumou #StatueofLibertyClimber #SeekingAsylumIsNotACrime
You can also visit her site at: https://patriciaokoumou.com/
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