USA Today is reporting that Bree Newsome, a black female activist, climbed a flagpole Saturday in Columbia, S.C., and briefly removed a controversial Confederate battle flag from in front of the Statehouse.
USA Today reports:
“After scaling the 30-foot pole and retrieving the flag, she and a male companion were arrested by State Capitol police who waited for her at the bottom inside a small, wrought-iron fence.
The flag, which is protected by state law, was raised again about 45 minutes later. A pro-flag rally was previously planned at the site Saturday morning.
The activist, identified as Bree Newsome, issued a statement by email to the media around the time of her arrest.
“We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer. We can’t continue like this another day,” the statement said. “It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.”
Sherri Iacobelli, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety, said that Newsome, and a companion, James Ian Tyson, 30, both from Charlotte, were charged with defacing monuments on state Capitol grounds.”
Bree and her companion face a $5,000 fine and up to three years in prison.
Filmmaker Michael Moore has offered to pay all legal fees and Rev. Jesse Jackson tweeted support for the activist.
The Burton Wire loves that this young woman did what a sitting governor will not do. #teambreenewsome
Read more at USA Today.