Women around the world are going on strike today to demonstrate the impact and economic power they have, but for a short time, an outage at the Statue of Liberty made it appear that one of the U.S.’s great symbols had walked off the job, too.
Around 10pm ET Tuesday, people started to notice that the Statue of Liberty, which is normally illuminated at night, went dark; the main light had gone out, but the statue’s crown and torch were still lit.
Without an immediate explanation as to what happened and given the timing of it, many wondered if the lights to the Statue of Liberty were turned off in support of “A Day Without A Woman” and the International Women’s Strike. It wouldn’t have been the first time Lady Liberty’s symbolism was invoked for a cause: last month activists draped a banner across the Statue of Liberty stating “Refugees welcome” in protest of Donald Trump’s first immigration ban.
The lights around the Statue of Liberty went out last night. This is when reality becomes the perfect metaphor. pic.twitter.com/wxXtOC54jl— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) March 8, 2017
The Women’s March, which is behind “A Day Without A Woman,” thanked the Statue of Liberty for going dark in support of the upcoming strike.
However, the symbolism behind the statue going dark didn’t last long. The lights soon came back on and the National Park Service explained it was due to a “temporary, unplanned outage” and the cause would be determined once crews were able to return to Liberty Island to investigate.
“A portion of the lighting system that illuminates the Statue of Liberty experienced a temporary, unplanned outage tonight,” National Park Service public affairs officer Jerry Willis said in a statement. “The outage was most likely due to work related to an ongoing project to activate a new emergency backup generator that is part of our last remaining Hurricane Sandy recovery projects.”
Willis also noted that “We don’t use the lighting system to back any particular cause,” according to the Washington Post.
The NPS’s explanation for the statue’s lights going out didn’t stop the comparisons—they just included mentions of the power outage to make them work even more.
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
H/T Washington Post