At dawn on June 27, 2015, Bree Newsome (with support from local activists) scaled the flag pole in front of South Carolina’s courthouse in Charleston, and took down the Confederate flag. She was immediately arrested and posted bail (thanks, in part, to crowdfunded support from Color of Change and Ferguson Action).
In an exclusive statement published at Blue Nation Review, Bree Newsome explained what she did and why:
“We discussed it and decided to remove the flag immediately, both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power people have when we work together. Achieving this would require many roles, including someone who must volunteer to scale the pole and remove the flag. It was decided that this role should go to a black woman and that a white man should be the one to help her over the fence as a sign that our alliance transcended both racial and gender divides. We made this decision because for us, this is not simply about a flag, but rather it is about abolishing the spirit of hatred and oppression in all its forms.
I removed the flag not only in defiance of those who enslaved my ancestors in the southern United States, but also in defiance of the oppression that continues against black people globally in 2015, including the ongoing ethnic cleansing in the Dominican Republic. I did it in solidarity with the South African students who toppled a statue of the white supremacist, colonialist Cecil Rhodes. I did it for all the fierce black women on the front lines of the movement and for all the little black girls who are watching us. I did it because I am free….”
Read the entire statement: EXCLUSIVE: Bree Newsome Speaks For The First Time After Courageous Act of Civil Disobedience.
For updates follow ColorOfChange.org and @fergusonaction on Twitter (relevant hashtags: #FreeBree, #BreeNewsome, #KeepItDown)