After a nearly four-hour standoff, police apprehended a woman who had climbed up to the robes of the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday afternoon. According to CNN, she was protesting the separation of migrant families at the US-Mexico border.
Liberty Island was evacuated as authorities attempted to get the woman down as she walked back and forth under Lady Liberty’s sandal. She initially declared that she wouldn’t come down until “all the children are released,” an NYPD source told CNN.
Other protesters were on the island during the day, also rallying against the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. An organizer of the group “Rise and Resist,” Martin Joseph Quinn, told CNN the unidentified woman was affiliated with the group, but he and other members were not aware of her plans to climb the Statue of Liberty.
The woman climbing the Statue of Liberty waved a shirt with the words:
“RISE AND RESIST” and “TRUMPCARE MAKES US SICK”
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 4, 2018
“She climbed without our knowledge. It was not part of our action,” Quinn said. “We are deeply concerned for her safety.”
Jay W. Walker, another member of Rise and Resist, told CNN that the theme of the protest was that Lady Liberty is weeping over the unconstitutional excesses of ICE under the Trump administration.
“We thought we wanted to do something on our Independence Day, a day that obviously is meant for reflection on the ideals on which this nation was founded,” he told CNN. “This country has posited itself as a beacon. Right now, we have a government that is actively turning its back on those ideals.”
— Rise and Resist (@riseandresistny) July 4, 2018
At one point, protesters unfurled a banner that read “Abolish ICE!” over a railing around the base of the statue. CNN reported that at least seven people were arrested.