Watch Activist Remove Confederate Flag At SC State Capitol
Early on Saturday morning activist Brittany ‘Bree’ Newsome of Charlotte, N.C., took matters into her own hands by scaling the 30 foot flagpole at South Carolina’s Capitol in Columbia and taking down the Confederate flag herself. Another North Carolina activist, James Tyson, assisted her by holding the pole to make sure Newsome didn’t fall.
‘This flag comes down today’ said Newsome and told police she was “prepared to be arrested” as she removed the Confederate flag.
“You cannot get to me with hatred and oppression and violence,” Newsome shouted from the top of the pole, according to video. “I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today.”
Newsome was said to be citing prayers as she took her time climbing down. When she reached the bottom, State Police who waited for her at the bottom inside a small, wrought-iron fence took the flag out of her hands and arrested her and her companion. As they were arrested a group of onlookers cheered off camera.
“We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer. We can’t continue like this another day,” Bree said in a statement to local media near the time of her arrest. “It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.”
The 30-year-olds were charged with defacing a monument on state Capitol grounds, a misdemeanor that can bring up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine, a state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman said.
A judge ordered $3,000 bond for each of them and said they were free to travel to other states at about 2:45 p.m., WLTX reported.
Newsome posted bond shortly after left the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. Her trial has been slated for July 27, according to The State.
local media reported that State House Minority Leader Rep. Todd Rutherford said he will serve as Newsome’s attorney.
Activist, author and film director Michael Moore tweeted an offer to pay her bail and legal fees.
President Obama used his eulogy Friday in Charleston for one of the victims of the shooting, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, to call for the removal of Confederate flags as symbols of honor.
“For many — black and white — that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation. We see that now,” Obama said.