Over Half a Million Gather in Support of Confederate Flag Opponent

A protester climbed a flagpole, took down the Confederate flag, and was then arrested. An online collection was started for the woman and in just eight hours, $79,000 was raised.

Early on Sunday morning (Swedish time), female protester Bree Newsome was arrested after she climbed a flagpole and took down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Capitol.

Protesters have demanded for several days that the flag be removed at the state Capitol. But an hour after the 30-year-old’s action, the flag was replaced with a new one, TT News Agency reports.

But it doesn’t end there. Right after Newsome’s arrest, an Internet campaign began with the aim of raising money for her. In just eight hours, more than $75,000 was raised.*

The support for Newsome is growing rapidly with the help of the #FreeBree hashtag on Twitter. Among others, filmmaker Michael Moore has offered to help pay her legal fees.

She is being hailed as a hero among those against the flag, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has likened Newsome to Martin Luther King Jr., the Telegraph writes.

“As well as supporting the permanent removal of the flag legislatively, we commend the courage and moral impulse of Ms. Newsome as she stands for justice like many NAACP activists including Henry David Thoreau, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and numerous Americans who have engaged in civil disobedience,” said NAACP President Cornell William Brooks in a statement.

Criticism of the Confederate flag flared up after the massacre in a church in Charleston, where the suspected killer Dylann Roof posed in a picture with the flag and a gun.

The Confederate flag is seen by many as a racist symbol. In South Carolina, the flag has been used to protest against the black Civil Rights Movement, which grew strong in the 1960s in the United States. After the attack in Charleston, many public authorities and companies removed the flag, and President Barack Obama has called the flag a reminder of systematic oppression and “racial subjugation.”

*Editor’s Note: The discrepancy between the introductory text reporting more than $79,000 being raised in eight hours, and the article’s reference to more than $75,000 being raised in eight hours appears in the original article and was accurately translated.

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