Late Tuesday night, the lights illuminating the Statue of Liberty went out for more than two hours, immediately sparking widespread speculation that it was an act in solidarity with today's A Day Without Women strike for International Women's Day, or in protest of the recent reconfiguration of the United States' immigration policies. The National Parks Service poo-pooed these claims, though, stating that the statue's temporary darkness was "likely" due to a new emergency generator and other recovery project work that's being done on the monument as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
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
Whether or not it was an orchestrated statement, the symbolism is way too strong here. Today's strike and series of protests aim to shine a light on the stark disparity in rights and opportunities for women and gender non-conforming people across the country. The current state of politics in America has only lit a fire under conversations about reproductive rights, the gender wage gap and a medley of other inequities that are pretty infuriating when you remember that it's 2017.
The outage may have been an "accident" or a "whoopsi-daisy" by an engineer, but one would be hard-pressed to come up with a more timely metaphor for a day of solidarity and action. I mean, Lady Liberty was literally throwing shade.