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Protester arrested after climbing Statue of Liberty’s base

Reuters reports police arrested a woman on the Statue of Liberty’s stone pedestal on Wednesday. The woman was apprehended after a three-hour standoff that forced the evacuation of thousands of tourists from the New York Harbor landmark on Independence Day. ( Wochit News /YouTube)

A woman wearing a “Rise and Resist” shirt climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty Wednesday, sparking an evacuation of Liberty Island and a nearly four-hour standoff with authorities before she was taken into custody, officials said.

The unidentified climber was seen scaling the base of the statue about 3 p.m., soon after an anti-Immigration and Customs Enforcement protest on Liberty Island.

Authorities grabbed the woman around 6:30 p.m., officials said.

The U.S. Parks police evacuated the island as a precaution as they tried to bring the climber down. Parks workers also blocked the statue’s base with chairs to prevent anyone from getting close, witnesses said.

Ellis Island remained open Wednesday, officials said.

About 15 police officers talked to the woman while she was on the statue’s base, encouraging her to come down.

Despite their pleas, the woman refused to come down until all the immigrant children detained by ICE have been released, NBC News reported, citing unidentified sources. The U.S. Parks Service did not confirm the report.

First responders managed to grab the woman under the statue’s right foot and take her into custody.

The woman is facing trespassing and other charges, officials said. Her name was not released.

“She broke the law and will be charged federally,” Willis said.

There was concern that the woman could damage the 132-year-old statue.

“She was on the copper of a national icon,” Willis said, adding that the copper is very thin and malleable. “She could do some damage.”

The climber was part of an anti-Immigration and Customs Enforcement protest sponsored by the group Rise and Resist. That group held a protest on the island earlier Wednesday, but no one was supposed to climb the statue, organizers said.

“I understand why people would do this,” said protester Kellen Gold, 20. “People are taking drastic actions against the recent immigration policies.”

Gold said while unusual, the woman’s action “was not violent.”

Protest organizer Jamie Bauer said she recognized the statue climber as a woman who has come to Rise and Resist meetings in the past, although she didn’t know her personally.

Parks police arrested and cited seven people after the group unfurled an “Abolish ICE” banner at the base of the statue, according to a U.S. Parks Police spokesman.

The protesters also put on black T-shirts that spelled out “Abolish ICE.”

As the banner was unfurled, the woman wandered off and started climbing the statue, organizers said.

Her T-shirt, which she stripped off and began waving as she scaled the statue base, said “Trump Care Makes Us Sick,” underneath “Rise & Resist.”

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© 2018 New York Daily News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.