Anti-ICE protester scales Statue of Liberty, prompting island evacuation & rescue

Woman tries to climb Statue of Liberty in apparent protest of ICE

National Park Service Spokesperson Jerry Willis says people on Liberty Island were being taken to neighboring Ellis Island, Battery Park in New York City or Liberty State Park in New Jersey.

The protestor climbed from the pedestal area to the base of the statue, forcing an evacuation. It is not known if the woman or the protesters presented any danger to others, but the incident did lead to the island's evacuation.

News helicopter video showed the climber sitting by the bottom of the statue's robes Wednesday, while police stood nearby. The woman then climbed down eight meters to the observation deck, where she was taken into custody.

The organization "Rise and Resist" claimed responsibility for the banner protest, but said the woman's stunt was not part of the plan.

"Rise and Resist planned a banner drop today at the Statue of Liberty". The group said the climber is not affiliated with the earlier protest.

Earlier, several people on the statue's pedestal hung a banner emblazoned with a message about abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement and were arrested.

The woman was part of a group of protesters and had declared that she wouldn't come down until "all the children are released", a source with the New York Police Department told CNN.

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A poem by Emma Lazarus inscribed on a bronze plaque, and located in the Statue of Liberty's museum, is seen by many as embodying the spirit of America, particularly in the lines: "Give me your exhausted, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free".

While the seven protesting beneath the statue were arrested shortly after protests began, authorities tried persuading the woman at the base of the statue to climb down.

Immigration activists continue to demand the Trump administration end its zero tolerance policy of separating illegal immigrant families at the border.

According to rescuers, the woman was upset over children separations' from their families at the border.

Under public pressure, Trump later halted his policy of taking children from their detained parents. But Trump said on Twitter last week that abolishing ICE will "never happen!"

In February previous year, protesters hung a giant "Refugees Welcome" banner across the Liberty statue's observation deck.

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