Rise and Resist Drops ABOLISH ICE Banner at Statue of Liberty
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New York, NY – Liberty Island was evacuated because of a person climbing the Statue of Liberty’s base on the Fourth of July shortly after seven protesters who unfurled an “Abolish ICE” banner from the statue’s pedestal calling for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement were arrested.
Reflecting the sentiments of last week’s nationwide End Family Separation protests, members of Rise and Resist planned and executed a non-violent banner drop and human banner action at the Statue of Liberty on Independence Day. An ABOLISH ICE banner was hung, and activists spelled out the same message on their shirts. Dozens of tourists cheered on the activists, and the protest was broadcast via live stream over social media.
Some other reasons for the protest include:
- Tens of thousands of people whom ICE has deported have no criminal record.
- ICE detainees have been denied medical care and are subject to solitary confinement, sexual assault, and rape.
- ICE requested that the National Archives and Records Administration destroy records related to its detention operations.
- Asylum seekers are often held by ICE without trial or bail.
- While the United Stated has a reputation for refuge. ICE conducts raids in our schools, courthouses and workplaces, spreading fear and brutality.
In literature handed out at the protest site, the protesters demand that families be reunited now, that the current administration end detention as a deterrent, that deportations be halted, and that legal counsel for all immigrants be provided.
“ICE has proved to be a threat to our liberty and way of life, and should be abolished,” said Leon Kirschner, Rise and Resist member. “They go after the most vulnerable among us, acting without due process to detain people. For-profit companies are making money off family separation. This has to stop now.”
Banner organizing group Rise and Resist stated the climber isn’t connected to its demonstration: The person who climbed the Statue of Liberty was one of forty participants in our planned banner action, but her decision to climb the statue was made independently of the group, without consulting any other member of the group. We understand and share her desire to see the immediate release of children from detention and reunion with their parents. We hope that her legal representation will arrange for her release under her own recognizance.
Rise and Resist Follow Up Statement Concerning Liberty Island Events: The members of Rise and Resist thank everyone for their quick mobilization in support of Patricia. We appreciate the criticism and comments that have been made about the statement released Wednesday evening. On reflection, we realize that in our haste to complete the statement, so that we could continue working to secure the best legal representation for Patricia, we unintentionally led people to believe that we were distancing the group from Patricia. Nothing could be further from the truth. Patricia is our friend, our comrade, our sister. From the moment that we realized that this amazing woman whom we have gotten to know, love, and respect was the person who had climbed to the foot of Lady Liberty, we had three concerns: one for her safety from falling, second, for her safety as a woman of color who was about to be engaged by law enforcement, and third, to find her the best legal representation that we could.
Rise and Resist, formed in response to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, is a nonviolent direct action group committed to opposing, disrupting, and defeating any government act that threatens democracy, equality, and our civil liberties.
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