Was this Woman's Climb for Advocacy or Publicity?
As the barbecues and pool parties started this Fourth of July, a woman in New York had a different idea for her afternoon plans. To protest the recent family separation and immigration policies in the U.S., Therese Okoumou decided to climb the Statue of Liberty. After climbing and staying by the statue’s feet for over four hours as police surrounded, Okoumou was removed from Lady Liberty by two New York Police Department officers. During and after this time, the park and statue were closed to the public. Tying into my last post, Okoumou’s climb of the statue occurred after an “Abolish ICE” protest in New York. There were an estimated 40 individuals who protested ICE and called for its eradication from the front of the State of Liberty on Wednesday, July 4th. During the protest, the Twitter account “Rise and Resist” wrote “Rise and Resist is at the Statue of Liberty demanding Trump and the GOP #AbolishICE, reunite families now, halt deportations, and end detention as a deterrent. #EndFamilySeparation #AbolishCBP #FreeOurFuture #HereToStay.” The Rise and Resist protesters were not aware that Okoumou was going to climb the statue. Jay Walker (a Rise and Resist group member) said, “We don’t know whether she had this planned before she ever got to Liberty Island or whether it was a spur-of-the-moment decision.” However, he appreciated Okoumou’s climb as it brought publicity to their movement and their hopes to Abolish ICE. Although Walker and other members of the Rise and Resist movement were accepting of this stunt, others were not as excited. The National Park Service spokesman, Jerry Willis, was apologetic and sorry for the visitors to the Statue of Liberty as they were all required to evacuate and could not go on tours or even visit Liberty Island. All in all, I disapprove of Okoumou’s climb as it prohibited individuals from touring and visiting the Statue of Liberty as well as Liberty Island. An individual’s opinions and advocacy should not interfere with others’ rights and decisions. The stunt itself seemed to be a sad attempt at attention and publicity. What do you think? Was Okoumou’s climb up the Statue of Liberty effective in supporting the Rise and Resist movement’s goal of abolishing ICE, or was it an unnecessary publicity stunt? Link (for article): http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/07/04/woman-escorted-down-after-scaling-statue-liberty-following-anti-ice-protests.html
Link (for picture): http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/2018/07/04/woman-climbs-statue-of-liberty-base-7-arrested/
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