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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Each Of Us Has Our Own Climb

When Rise and Resist tweeted, “Rise and Resist is at the Statue of Liberty demanding Trump and the GOP #Abolish ICE, reunite families now, halt deportations, and end detention as a deterrent.”, it made no suggestions as to how to deal with human traffickers who bring children and other undocumented people, drugs, weapons, and who knows what else, for who knows what reasons, across the US/Mexico border.

I do not understand what Therese Patricia Okoumou intended to gain in her hateful rant publicized on the media today, beyond insulting the country that took her in, and protesting social injustice in general, but she viscerally frightened and sickened me. Ms. Okoumou has the fabulous good fortune to be a nationalized United States citizen, she is formerly of the violent, impoverished country of The Republic of Congo, and this is what she does? When she is older and more experienced will she feel used or vindicated? What if she had used her tremendous energy to work within the system?

When I was in my early twenties in the early 1970’s, I took a New York City harbor ferry out to see the 305 foot tall Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. When I heard that they allowed people to climb up into the crown, up I went, 354 steps, equivalent to 20 stories. I got in single-file line with excited tourists from around the world to climb up its interior, lighthouse-style, spiral staircase. As we began the climb up the narrow, winding, metal stairs, men had to turn their shoulders sideways to go up, and some women with generous hips decided not to climb. Claustrophobia! Some people squealed a little as they squeezed up, others gritted their teeth, I quietly concentrated on balance and stamina. I really wanted to climb into the crown and see the view that Liberty saw. The human herd thinned as some people turned back. After the first couple of winds up, there was no turning around. The open-work staircase was too narrow to pass by the people climbing up from below. Because the entire, vertigo-inducing staircase was open we had enough air but the view down through the staircase made me grip the worn handrail tightly. I noticed that the approximately 100-year-old copper cladding of the Statue of Liberty, with its pretty green patina called verdigris, was obviously, frighteningly thin, 3/32th of an inch to be precise, less than two pennies thick. Our climb up the staircase exited on the little observation deck that filled the crown of the Statue of Liberty. I took one glance at the bird’s eye view of New York Harbor, and scurried back down to ground. That was before I had conquered my fear of heights, or maybe it was the beginning.

Caption: screencapture—Rise and Resist protests against US-Mexico borders

with a banner to “Abolish ICE”, 07-04-18

Caption: screencapture—Therese Patricia Okoumou, age 44,

climbed onto the plinth of the Statue of Liberty

protesting border policy on children, 07-04-18

Caption: screencapture— “America, you M*****F***er. You drug addict. You KKK. You fascist USA...”

Known for her attempt to climb the Statue of Liberty,

Therese Patricia Okoumou, spewed invectives

to the American public on 08-06-18.

Her message was unclear beyond frightening rage and dissipated passion.

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