Protester Forces Evacuations at Statue of Liberty After Climbing Base of Monument

Liberty Park was evacuated on Wednesday afternoon after a protester climbed onto the Statue of Liberty.

A protest on Wednesday morning centered around the base of the iconic statue. According to a report by CBS News, a number of demonstrators gathered to call for the abolishment of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and to protest President Donald Trump's immigration policies. So far, it is unclear whether the woman who climbed the massive statue was involved in the protest, but many are assuming so.

Altogether, the Statue of Liberty and its supporting structure are about 305 feet tall. The protester climbed all the way to the very base of the statue, itself, sitting just below Lady Liberty's raised heel. This means that she was about halfway up the monument, likely around 150 feet off the ground.

Police climbed after the woman, positioning ladders and negotiators in the hopes of talking her down. However, her act of civil disobedience went on. U.S. Parks Police Sgt. David Somma told CBS News that she was "refusing to come down" at around 4:30 p.m.

While officials don't see her as an active threat, they called her climb a "threat to public safety." Somma added that the woman was not cooperative in speaking with police, and has yet to identify the reason for her protest.

The woman paced alongside the back of the statue for a bit before sitting down. She was also seen waving a small banner, though its message has was hard to make out. Severn protesters were reportedly arrested earlier in the day after unfurling a massive banner that read "ABOLISH ICE" and draping it over a railing near the statue.

A protest group called Rise and Resist took responsibility for the banner in a statement posted on Twitter, though they claimed to have no knowledge of the climber or her intentions.

"Rise and Resist planned a banner drop today at the Statue of Liberty," they wrote. "This action did not include the climber on the statue. Our action was completed earlier. While it was not part of our action, our first priority and concern is for the safety of the climber."


Visitors to the statue and the surrounding park were taken to Ellis Island, Battery Park and Liberty State Park following the evacuation. Spokesperson Jerry Willis told reporters that it is against federal code regulations to hang a banner on the national monument.

Naturally, the reaction was split on Twitter, where many users saw the woman as a trailblazer and a patriot. Others, however, felt that she was disrupting the holiday of for others.