Speed Reads

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'Refugees Welcome' sign attached to the Statue of Liberty

For about an hour on Tuesday, the Statue of Liberty had a caption: "Refugees Welcome."

Activists moved quickly in the early afternoon, unfurling a 3-by-20 banner with the pro-refugee message and affixing it to the public observation deck at the top of the statue's pedestal, National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis told the New York Daily News. This violated park rules, Willis said, which prohibit items from being attached to the statue.

On Twitter, a group calling itself "Alt Lady Liberty" claimed it was behind the banner, saying they are "private citizens who felt like we needed to say something about the America we believe in." One of the activists said their grandparents met in a refugee camp in the aftermath of World War II, and President Trump's executive order banning refugees from entering the U.S. hit close to home. "We wanted to send a reminder about America when we're at our best — the country that's a beacon of freedom to the world, built by immigrants," the activist said. "Walling off countries or entire religions is against our values."