Early this morning, activist Bree Newsome climbed a flagpole in Columbia, South Carolina and removed the Confederate flag that still flies in front of the capitol building.
According to the Guardian, Newsome is a 30-year-old organizer from Charlotte, North Carolina. She had reached the midpoint of the flagpole—about fifteen feet—when police ordered her to come down. Newsome defied their orders and continued to climb to the 30-foot top and remove the flag. She had come prepared, using tree climbing equipment to get to the top.
The Guardian reports that Newsome and James Ian Dyson were arrested by the capitol police and detained. It’s unclear whether or not the two have been charged, some news outlets are reported that they have.
In a press release Newsome sent to the newspaper, she wrote:
“We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer. It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.”
Her bold and brave actions come on the heels of Alabama’s removal of the Confederate flag and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s call to finally take it down. Newsome’s civil disobedience was spurred by the #TakeItDown campaign, a movement that is pressuring lawmakers in Mississippi and South Carolina to remove the flag.