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Person climbs base of the Statue of Liberty after ICE protest

Thursday - 05/07/2018 05:33
It wasn't immediately clear if the woman was connected to an earlier protest at the Statue of Liberty, against Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

 

After the arrest of seven protesters who unfurled a banner reading "Abolish I.C.E." at the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday, a person climbed the base of the statue, prompting officials to close the national monument to tourists.

Jerry Willis, a spokesman with the National Park Service, told USA TODAY that the climber was still sitting on the base of the statue and talking to police as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Willis said the national monument was closed Wednesday out of "an abundance of caution" after the events. As of 4:30 p.m., tourists were being loaded on boats off the island and no new boats were headed for the island, he said.

Willis had no information on whether the climber's actions were related to the earlier arrests, which occurred at around 2:30 p.m.

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The seven protesters received summonses to appear in federal court, Willis said. The protesters hung a large black banner emblazoned with the message "Abolish I.C.E." in white lettering from the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

Federal code of regulations prohibits hanging banners from the monument, Willis told The Associated Press.

Activists with the group Rise and Resist say in a release they hung the banner to protest U.S. immigration policy.

In a tweet the group said they oppose the Trump administration and advocate ending deportations as well as family separations at the border.

ICE stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Department of Homeland Security. Among other duties, its officers arrest and deport unauthorized immigrants inside the U.S.

Rise and Resist, tweeted that the climber is not related to the earlier protest.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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