[UPDATE BELOW] On the same day that the Trump administration unveiled its expansive mass deportation plan, activists unfurled a giant "Refugees Welcome" banner across the Statue of Liberty's pedestal.
It's not yet clear who's responsible for the banner. A spokesperson with the National Parks Service, Jerry Willis said the unauthorized banner has been removed and the NPS will soon be releasing a statement. (We will update when they do.)
Visitors spotted the banner today:
— Maria Langholz (@MariaLangholz) February 21, 2017
— Whit Jones (@whitjones) February 21, 2017
Visiting the Statue of Liberty today and this "Refugees Welcome" banner is creating lots of conversation pic.twitter.com/rpRK8AhI1U
— Tim O'Shei (@timoshei) February 21, 2017
Plenty of other anti-Trump banners and skywriting have turned up over the past month—recent examples have included a small plane that pulled a "We Outnumber him! Resist!" banner over the Hudson on Inauguration Day, and Greenpeace protestors who hung a "Resist" banner from a crane near the White House in DC last month.
Update 4:56 p.m.: The National Parks Service has provided us with the following statement:
At approximately 12:50 PM this afternoon, a banner reading “Refugees Welcome” was unfurled atop the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. The banner, approximately 3 feet by 20 feet, was affixed by nylon rope to the wall of the public observation deck at the base of the Statue. Rangers, alerted to the presence of the banner, immediately made their way to the location and conducted an assessment of the banner and how it was attached to the monument. It was determined that the banner could be removed without damaging the pedestal and Rangers began the process of removing it. Affixing a banner to the national monument is strictly prohibited, and an investigation is underway by the United States Park Police to identify suspects.