Statue of Liberty evacuated as woman climbs monument base

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Statue of Liberty evacuated as woman climbs monument base
Tourists were evacuated from Liberty Island while police attempted to coax the woman down. @SARAH_EYEBROWS/TWITTER
Tourists were evacuated from Liberty Island while police attempted to coax the woman down. @SARAH_EYEBROWS/TWITTER

(BBC) – Tourists have been evacuated from Liberty Island in New York after a woman climbed up on to the Statue of Liberty and sat at the monument’s base.

Police could be seen talking with the woman in an apparent attempt to coax her down via a ladder that had been secured to the statue’s pedestal.

Eyewitnesses posted images and footage on social media showing the woman scaling the structure on Wednesday.

Earlier, several people were arrested after holding a protest at the statue.

National Park Service police and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) were called to the scene shortly after reports of an individual climbing the monument.

One eyewitness, Eric Kwasi Oppongto, posted a short video of the incident on Twitter which he said involved an individual with a T-shirt emblazoned with “Trump care makes me sick” and “Rise and Resist”.

Another user, Sarah, said the island was being “evacuated of all tourists”.

It is not yet clear exactly why the woman scaled the structure.

Earlier, police arrested several activists who unveiled an “Abolish Ice” banner on the statue’s pedestal.

The “Abolish Ice” slogan is a long-running protest against the government’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement body, the agency responsible for identifying and removing undocumented immigrants throughout the US.

The two incidents took place on the US independence holiday 4 July.

In February last year, protesters hung a giant “Refugees Welcome” banner across the Liberty statue’s observation deck.

Attaching items to the national monument, a symbol of American acceptance of immigrants, is strictly prohibited, according to the state’s National Park Service police.

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