The protester who climbed the Statue of Liberty on July 4 to take a stand against President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy showed up to her court hearing on Friday in a dress that took aim at the first lady, Melania Trump, and the jacket she was seen wearing while boarding a plane to visit immigrant children in June.
According to the Huffington Post, Therese Patricia Okoumou made an appearance in Manhattan Federal Court on Friday, close to a month after she was charged for trespassing, disorderly conduct, and interference with governmental administration for climbing Lady Liberty’s pedestal. The 44-year-old Staten Island woman, who was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was wearing a green dress that mocked Melania Trump’s controversial Zara jacket, which drew the ire of many in June because she was preparing to visit child detention facilities in Texas while wearing a jacket that had the words “I really don’t care, do u?” on the back.
As recalled by Yahoo Lifestyle, the first lady’s choice of attire was defended by her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, who said that there was no hidden message on Melania’s jacket. Likewise, President Trump insinuated in a tweet that his wife was targeting the “Fake News Media” with her jacket, as she “truly no longer [cared]” about what many news publications and networks had to say.
Patricia Okoumou’s dress also read “Be Best,” a reference to the first lady’s campaign focused on the well-being of children. https://t.co/DjLNmTFzmC
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) August 4, 2018
In an apparent response to the message on Melania Trump’s jacket, Okoumou’s dress had the words “I really care, why won’t u?” painted on the front and back. Underneath that phrase, on both sides, were the words “Be Best,” which is a direct reference to the first lady’s anti-bullying and anti-opioid abuse campaign that launched earlier this year, an initiative that she said is geared toward promoting the “importance of social, emotional, and physical health” to young people.
At the end of Therese Patricia Okoumou’s procedural hearing, the Statue of Liberty protester reportedly spoke to her supporters, unleashing a profanity-laced tirade that criticized Americans for being “drug addicts,” racists, and fascists.
Okoumou, who could potentially face an 18-month sentence despite pleading guilty, is scheduled to make her next court appearance on October 1. According to the Huffington Post, Okoumou’s lawyer, Ron Kuby, said that his client might seek to avoid jail time by accepting a plea deal, adding that her actions on the Fourth of July should “not be penalized with a jail sentence,” but rather rewarded because the protest highlighted the plight of immigrant children separated from their families.