Police in New York moved in to arrest a woman who scaled the stone pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, after a three-hour standoff that led to the evacuation of the landmark on America’s Independence Day.
There was confusion over whether she was part of a group who protested at the site against US immigration policy. Earlier, several of their members were arrested after they unfurled a banner from the base of the statue that read “Abolish ICE”.
ICE refers to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, whose recent reatment of families who have crossed illegally into the United States from Mexico provoked an international outcry.
Officers used harnesses and rops to approach the woman and grab her as she clung to the sloping side of the 91-metre-high statue. She was taken into custody peacefully, the police said.
The woman had earlier taken part in the anti-ICE protest, according to reports quoting an organiser with Rise and Resist, which arranged the demonstration. The group initially tweeted that the climber had no connection to the protest.
Liberty Island was evacuated because of the incident. The Statue of Liberty, a gift to the people of the United States from the people of France, has become a worldwide symbol of the American values of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.