For several hours on Tuesday night, Lady Liberty mysteriously went dark for a few hours except for the iconic statue’s torch and crown leading people to wonder if it was related to a political protest. The lights returned shortly before midnight.
Jerry Willis, the National Park Service spokesperson called it a “temporary, unplanned power outage.”
Some lights on the Statue were temporarily off tonight. Likely related to new emergency generator/Hurricane Sandy recovery project work.— Statue of Liberty NM (@StatueEllisNPS) March 8, 2017
“The outage probably was related to a project for a new emergency backup generator. The official cause will be determined Wednesday when crews return to work on the project, part of our last remaining Hurricane Sandy recovery projects.”
This outage sparked conversation on social media that perhaps it was done deliberately for Wednesday’s “A Day Without a Woman” protest of economic and social inequality and in solidarity with International Women’s Day.
The official Twitter account for the Women’s March seized the opportunity and tweeted:
Women’s March group is promoting a strike scheduled for International Women’s Day on Wednesday. According to the Women’s March website, this strike is,
“An action meant to recognize the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system, while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment and job insecurity.”
The “A Day Without A Woman” protest is organized for women in the U.S. who are advised not to work on Wednesday in order to highlight social, economic, cultural, and political contributions made by women. The Women’s March group organized the Women’s March on inaugural weekend calling for a mass strike in opposition of President Trump. On the day after Trump’s inauguration, more than three million Americans nationwide took to the streets to demonstrate their dissent against newly elected President Donald Trump.
The Statue of Liberty, situated on Liberty Island, in the Upper New York Bay of the Hudson River was gifted by the France to the US in 1886. Protest March is not the first group to seize on the statue as a symbol of protest. Last month, Alt Lady Liberty unfurled a 20-foot red and white banner at her base that read:
National Park Service Rangers quickly pulled down the sign, but a bronze plaque on the base is emblazoned with a similar sentiment.
Some saw symbolism and wondered if the lights had to do with Lady Liberty symbolically mourning due to President Donald Trump’s latest executive order limiting refugees, immigration, and travel. President Donald Trump’s new immigration Executive Order directs federal officials to “set new immigration rules that will identify and exclude people who support the use of violence, and also hints at the exclusion of people who embrace orthodox Islam’s violent extremism.”
The iconic Statue of Liberty which famously welcomes the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” to America’s shores, the outage symbolized a rather perfect protest of the Republican stance on immigration.
Apparently the Statue of Liberty lights went out due to a power failure. But I would argue women are also protesting due to a power failure.— Aparna Nancherla (@aparnapkin) March 8, 2017
As it turns out, the moment was unrelated to Women’s Day or Trump’s immigration policy, the timing of the outage was quite a coincidence.
[Featured Image by Charles Dharapak/AP Images]