Reports of person climbing Statue of Liberty; arrests madey

Frederick Owens
July 6, 2018

The Statue of Liberty, a powerful symbol of USA freedom and long a beacon to immigrants, was shut down on Independence Day as a woman refused to leave its base in a lengthy standoff with police. Rise and Resist is the name of a protest group that arranged the banner display, and they tweeted that the climber "has no connection to our #abolishice action earlier today". Unfortunately, those visiting the Statue of Liberty had to have their visit cut short on Wednesday after some protesters unrolled a banner and one woman made a decision to actually climb up Lady Liberty.

Police are working to talk down a protester sitting on the base of the Statue of Liberty after scaling the monument on the Fourth of July.

About 16 officers with the New York City Police Department took part in the risky rescue/apprehension effort, Officer Brian Glacken said in a news conference Wednesday evening. With the dramatic scene unfolding on live television, she and the officers edged carefully around the statue toward a ladder, and she climbed down about 25 feet (8 meters) to the monument's observation point and was taken into custody. The ordeal lasted roughly four hours.

The island was being evacuated.

A protester has scaled the Statue of Liberty after a banner reading "Abolish ICE" was unfurled at its base Wednesday afternoon, and police have climbed the statue to try to coax the woman down. "We are deeply concerned for her safety", Quinn said. In total, ten people were taken into custody.

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U.S. Park Police Major Pamela Smith said the incident "caused disruption to thousands of visitors on one of the busiest days of the year at the Statue of Liberty".

The woman is affiliated with Rise and Resist, Martin Joseph Quinn, an organizer for the group, told CNN. "We've had two unusual events occur back-to-back", National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis told ABC7's sister station, WABC-TV.

Okoumou, who was wearing a shirt that read "Trump Care Makes Us Sick" on one side at the time of arrest, is now facing federal misdemeanor charges including trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with government functions. It was later found out that the other seven had a banner stating "Abolish ICE", but the climber was not with them.

She is expected to appear in Manhattan Federal Court Thursday. A group called "Rise and Resist" had protested the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's behavior, with "Abolish ICE" banners at the landmark.

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