An unidentified woman marked Independence Day by scaling the Statue of Liberty Wednesday (July 4) in a reported protest that forced authorities to temporarily close and evacuate Liberty Island where the national monument resides.
Lady Liberty is used to having visitors, but the holiday turned out to be busier than expected after at least six protestors from New York-based direct action group, Rise and Resist, were arrested for hanging an “Abolish ICE” sign on the pedestal of the massive statue.
The action was meant to call attention to the President Donald Trump’s “brutal racist immigration policy,” and to demand that “Trump and the GOP reunite families now, halt deportations, and end detention as a deterrent.”
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 pic.twitter.com/panS03KTFe
— Rise and Resist (@riseandresistny) July 4, 2018
Leon Kirschner, a member of Rise and Resist, said in a blog post that ICE has proven to be “a threat to our liberty and way of life,” and that it should be “abolished.”
“They go after the most vulnerable among us, acting without due process to detain people. This has to stop now,” Kirschner said.
Rise and Resist was founded in response to the 2016 presidential election. The group denies any “connection” to the woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty, although she was seen holding up a “Rise and Resist” T-shirt with the words “Trumpcare Makes Us Suck,” written on the back.
The woman climbing the Statue of Liberty moved to the back of the statue after authorities tried to reach her. She was seen waving a shirt or banner. Emergency services are circling the statue in helicopters. pic.twitter.com/5SAXuy8qMU
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 4, 2018
According to CNN, the woman said that she refused to come down until “the children are released,” in reference to immigrant children being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, and detained.
At press time, authorities were still trying to talk the woman down. See footage below.
**Update: Authorities were able to reach the woman and forced her to climb down from the monument.