A Charlotte woman successfully shimmied the flagpole of the South Carolina Statehouse’s Confederate Soldier Monument and took down the Confederate battle flag.
Bree Newsome, 30, dressed in climbing gear and helmet, removed the flag just after 6 a.m., about four hours before a pro-Confederate flag rally was set to take place at the monument.Newsome and James Ian Tyson, 30, also of Charlotte, were arrested by Department of Public Safety officers as soon as Newsome touched the ground. The two were later charged with defacing a monument. Tyson was inside the wrought iron fence surrounding the 30-foot pole helping Newsome, DPS said.A judge later set the bond for the two of them at $3,000. If convicted, they could spend up to three years in jail and pay a fine of up to $5,000.The flag was down for about an hour before it was replaced with a new one, said DPS Spokeswoman Sherri Iacobelli.
The group of activists, which includes a few members of the Black Lives Matter movement, that helped organize the climb said in a release that it was an effort “to do what the SC legislature has thus far neglected to do.”
“We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer,” Newsome said in the statement. “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.”