Statue of Liberty Climber Inspired By Michelle Obama

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Posted: Jul 06, 2018 8:55 AM
Statue of Liberty Climber Inspired By Michelle Obama

Therese Patricia Okoumou, the woman who scaled the Statue of Liberty on Independence Day in protest of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, explained Thursday that former first lady Michelle Obama motivated her.

Okoumou appeared in federal court Thursday, pleading not guilty on charges of trespassing, interfering with agency functions and disorderly conduct.

Okoumou, who was surrounded by approximately 50 supporters during her roughly six-minute hearing, told a federal judge she understood the counts against her. 

Court papers also charged Okoumou with resisting arrest by refusing to leave the perch where Lady Liberty's feet stand, roughly 100 feet above ground.

She was released without bail on her own recognizance, and is expected to next appear in court on Aug. 3. (Fox News)

Wearing a "white supremacy is terrorism" shirt, she thanked the dozens of supporters who showed up to her hearing, explaining her decision to climb the statue was “spur of the moment.”

But the Democratic Republic of Congo native also said Obama influenced her protest, taking her words from her speech at the 2016 Democratic convention a bit too literally. 

"Our beloved first lady that I care so much about said when they go low, we go high, and I went as high as I could," Okoumou said, adding that she would not be able to do so again because “the judge told me not to.”

Okoumou climbed the Statue of Liberty Wednesday after an “Abolish ICE” protest.

The National Park Service was forced to shut the park early and evacuate more than 4,000 visitors after she refused to come down from the monument’s base.

If convicted, Okoumou could face up to six months in prison for each count.