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Liberty Island Evacuated After Statue Base Climber, Banner

Liberty Island Evacuated After Statue Base Climber, Banner

A woman was spotted scaling the statue, and had made it to Lady Liberty's midsection, US Park Police public information officer Sgt. Dave Somma told NBC 4.

About 100 feet aboveground, the climber engaged in a four-hour standoff with police before two officers climbed up to the base and went over to her. She was not immediately identified and police did not say what charges she might face. She has been placed in police custody. At other times she was seen lying on her stomach and kicking her feet up behind her. Okoumou was holding a t-shirt that says "Rise and Resist" and 'Trump Care Makes Us Sick.' Visitors were taken off the island via ferry.

"She just kind of mentioned the kids in Texas". He added that Okoumou was being "a little combative" but then conceded and cooperated with authorities.

The woman had participated earlier in displaying a banner calling for abolishing the federal government's chief immigration enforcement agency, said Jay W. Walker, an organizer with Rise and Resist, which arranged the demonstration. An NYPD source said she declared she wouldn't come down until "all the children are released", meaning the migrant children separated from their parents at the border.

The NYPD said it was not clear how the woman got onto the statue. They did not believe that she was going to leave the Statue of Liberty by herself or on her own. "The facade of the monument there is a granite rock-like surface that the average person wouldn't be able to scale", said National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis.

"That statue has been out in the middle of New York Harbor for 130 years - with hurricanes and lightning and everything that nature has thrown at her", he said.

Earlier, other protesters unfurled a banner over a railing around the base of the statue saying "Abolish ICE!"

The National Park Service chose to shut down Liberty Island over security concerns around 3:30 p.m., and within an hour all 4,500 visitors had been evacuated.

Although Okoumou was wearing a Rise and Resist shirt and is a member, the group claimed her actions were not related and that it was not aware of her plans. "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".

The "Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World" was a gift of friendship from the people of Franche to the United States and is recognized as "a universal symbol of freedom and democracy", according to the National Park Service.

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