A woman scaled the 30-foot flagpole outside South Carolina’s Statehouse this morning and pulled down the Confederate flag.
The act of protest came just hours before a planned rally for the controversial flag’s supporters.
The black woman has been identified as Bree Newsome and she was arrested without incident when she got to the bottom. A white man who appeared to be assisting her was also detained by police.
This is Bree. An amazing black woman who climbed the pole and took down the racist flag. pic.twitter.com/DK07mcXRMo
— Ferguson Action (@fergusonaction) June 27, 2015
Newsome scaled the pole using climbing gear and refused to come down until she had removed the flag, saying “I’m prepared to be arrested” as onlookers cheered her on.
When Newsome was near the top of the pole, she shouted:
You come against me with hatred and oppression and bias. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today.
Unfortunately, the flag was raised again soon after the incident. It can only be removed legally by South Carolina’s legislature.
Politicians and activists have campaigned for the flag to be taken down in the wake of the Charleston shooting on June 17, in which nine black people were murdered at a historic church in a racist attack.
And many have praised Newsome for taking actions into her own hands to try and bring down the flag, which is seen by many as a symbol of racism.