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Bree Newsome, the North Carolina activist who scaled the flagpole at the South Carolina statehouse and removed the Confederate Flag, has emerged as a heroic figure. In the midst of facing criminal charges alongside her spotter and fellow protestor, James Tyson, Ms. Newsome has absorbed the attention from her demonstration and explained the origins of her path to activism.

Newsome wrote a statement that she exclusively gave to Blue Nation Review’s Goldie Taylor. Newsome shares how the Charleston church shooting was jarring to her as it was for many others across the nation. In the statement, Newsome gives readers some background on her history as an activist and what drives her to continue on that path today.  Newsome also takes care to mention the rash of suspected arsons of Black churches across the Deep South.

More from Newsome:

So, earlier this week I gathered with a small group of concerned citizens, both black and white, who represented various walks of life, spiritual beliefs, gender identities and sexual orientations. Like millions of others in America and around the world, including South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and President Barack Obama, we felt (and still feel) that the confederate battle flag in South Carolina, hung in 1962 at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, must come down. (Of course, we are not the first to demand the flag’s removal. Civil rights groups in South Carolina and nationwide have been calling for the flag’s removal since the moment it was raised, and I acknowledge their efforts in working to remove the flag over the years via the legislative process.)

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.

Read the entire statement at Blue Nation Review by following this link.

Photo: YouTube