feature: “we can’t wait any longer” – activist bree newsome removes confederate flag in front of south carolina statehouse

June 29, 2015

Since the shooting of nine black churchgoers in South Carolina two weeks ago, there have been renewed calls for the removal of the Confederate Flag in front of the South Carolina Statehouse (a constant reminder of racism and white supremacy). This past Saturday one woman took matters into her own hands; scaling the 30-foot steel flagpole in front of the Statehouse to remove the flag herself. According to The New York Times, Bree Newsome and fellow activist James Ian Tyson climbed over a wrought-iron-fence to get to the flag; and once over, Newsome proceeded to climb the pole. Halfway up, she was told to get down by South Carolina Bureau of Protective Services; however she continued up the pole fearlessly and removed the divisive flag (raised 45 minutes later in time for a rally in support of it). Newsome and Tyson, who were both arrested at the scene, have now been released after posting bond; but face charges of defacing monuments on state Capitol grounds – which means a fine of up to $5,000 and/or a prison term of up to three years. In an issued statement, Newsome writes: “We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer. We can’t continue like this another day […] It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.” Newsome’s actions have garnered a lot of support, with many people raising money for her subsequent legal fees and petitions created to drop the charges (support here). Video below!

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor


Art: https://instagram.com/timelordj4y