A protester is seen on th Statue of Liberty in New York, New York, U.S., July 4, 2018, in this picture obtained from social media. Danny Owens/via REUTERS
A woman climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday afternoon (July 4), forcing an evacuation of the New York Harbor island where the monument stands hours before Independence Day fireworks displays were scheduled to begin nearby.
The National Park Service was evacuating Liberty Island because of the standoff. The historic statue, a symbol of American freedom, is typically crowded with visitors on the July 4 holiday.
Television images showed a woman seated just above the stone pedestal on which the colossal, green-tarnished statue stands. Officers, using ladders, had climbed within a few feet of her and were negotiating with her.
The parks service, which operates the Statue of Liberty National Park, could not confirm whether the woman was part of a protest, a spokesperson for the National Parks service said.. Earlier, seven protesters were arrested on the island, he said without providing further details.
Those who were arrested had dropped a banner that read “Abolish ICE” from the statue’s base, a reference to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to media reports.
The agency is at the center of the Trump administration’s shelved policy of separating some immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border, leading to calls for its disbanding.
The New York Police Department said NYPD hostage negotiators were assisting the park service in attempting to persuade the woman to surrender.
At the same time, Jersey City will present a fireworks display at Liberty State Park along the Hudson River near the statue. — Reuters
As the country marks its 121st Independence Day, President Rodrigo Duterte called on Filipinos to honor the sacrifices of the nation’s heroes by realizing their dream of a truly independent Philippines.
“A hundred and twenty-one years has passed since our forefathers bound their fates, their lives and their fortunes to proclaim the independence of the Filipino people,” Duterte said in his message on Wednesday, June 12.
He said the proclamation marking the Philippines’ liberation from the Spanish Colonial rule was the “most significant event in our country’s history.”
“Not only did we put an end to more than three centuries of subservience but we also resolved to determine the course of our own destiny as a nation,” he said.
The President reminded Filipinos that the country’s freedom was achieved “not without cost.”
“The tree of liberty blossomed on these lands because it was nourished by the sweat and blood of our patriots, heroes and martyrs,” he said.
“Let us commit ourselves to ensure that their sacrifices have not been in vain and that their dream of a truly independent Philippines – whose people live freely in a secure, stable and prosperous society – will be achieved within our lifetimes,” the chief executive added.
Duterte is set to attend the Independence Day celebration at the 6th Infantry Battalion Headquarters in Lanao del Sur later Wednesday.
When asked why Duterte chose this venue to commemorate the Independence Day, Malacañang said, the president has his own special reason in leading the rites in Lanao del Sur.
In 2018, Duterte led the Independence Day rites in Kawit, Cavite where a small group of anti-Duterte slipped into the crowd and caused a momentary distraction during his speech at the balcony of the house of former President Emilio Aguinaldo. (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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