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Four 'everyday people' unfurled a 'Refugees Welcome' banner on the Statue of Liberty

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A group of four unidentified activists hung a large banner reading "Refugees Welcome" on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on Tuesday afternoon in defiance of the Trump administration's policies on immigration and refugees, according to one of the people claiming responsibility for the political statement.

The group of activists -- three men and one woman -- shared photos of their work under the Twitter handle "Alt Lady Liberty." One of the activists -- who identified himself as David but wouldn't share his last name -- told Circa his group wanted to make it clear that Trump's immigration policies are "the opposite of when America is as its best."

The Statue of Liberty was chosen as the ultimate site, according to David, because there's no better symbol of freedom in New York.  

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The red and white "Refugees Welcome" sign stood prominently against the earthy tones of The Statue of Liberty, an emblem of hope and freedom to generations of immigrants arriving to the US between the late 1880s and early 1920s.

In terms of logistics, David said it was surprisingly easy to hang up the banner despite the gusty winds swirling around Liberty Island.

"We kind of expected the worst and planned for the best," he said.

But what David and the other three activists ultimately discovered on the edge of the monument was a sense of community and appreciation. He said that while they were hanging the banner, a man approached the activists and identified himself as a refugee.

"What was most surprising was how supportive all the other people who were up there with us [were]," he said. "My guess is that people visiting the Statue of Liberty, and having just seen the museum about why it's there, see the work similar to us -- [in that] immigrants are what make this country great."

The "Refugees Welcome" banner follows a recent act of resistance near the White House. Greenpeace USA hung a giant "Resist" on a construction crane.


"That was beautiful and was definitely an inspiration, but part of our hope was to show that, you know, everyday people," David said. "We're just four folks who wanted to make a statement that you don't need to be with an organization to say something important."


For David, it was particularly personal. His mother is an immigrant from Israel and his grandparents met in a refugee camp after World War II.

"Let's finish today," David said when asked what the future had in store for the anonymous activists. "Whether or not our group, I expect that we're going to see a lot more people stepping up and saying things that need to be said. Whether it's us or others, I don't think this is going to be the last thing like this."

Teghan Collins contributed to this report.

Four 'everyday people' unfurled a 'Refugees Welcome' banner on the Statue of Liberty

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