In late October on a Virginian roadway, Juli Briskman was captured flipping off the president’s motorcade on film. After she told her employers, government contractor Akima LLC, that she was the one in the now-circulating photo, they promptly fired her.
If you missed the initial coverage of Briskman, here’s the whole story as recounted in the White House pool report, via the Guardian. There was a lot of finger action that day:
“POTUS’s motorcade departed the Trump National Golf Club at 3.12pm, passing two pedestrians, one of whom gave a thumbs-down sign. Then it overtook a female cyclist, wearing a white top and cycling helmet, who responded by giving the middle finger.
“The motorcade had to slow and the cyclist caught up, still offering the finger, before turning off in a different direction. Motorcade is now gathering speed and heading for DC.”
On Saturday, Briskman was interviewed by the HuffPost about what’s next for her, aside from more bicycling trips. Briskman says she was fired last Tuesday, after using the image of herself poking her middle finger up at the sky on Twitter and Facebook:
“They said, ‘We’re separating from you,‘” said Briskman. “Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media. So they were calling flipping him off ‘obscene.’”
Briskman says she argued that she should be able to keep her job, since a male colleague was only reprimanded for calling someone a “fucking libtard asshole” on Facebook. But Akima told her that as government contractors, rude hand gestures towards the president is bad for business. Which is probably true, the president is very sensitive.
Despite the loss of her job, Briskman says she feels good about her decision to launch a one-finger protest:
“He was passing by and my blood just started to boil,” she said. “I’m thinking, DACA recipients are getting kicked out. He pulled ads for open enrollment in Obamacare. Only one-third of Puerto Rico has power. I’m thinking, he’s at the damn golf course again.”
“I flipped off the motorcade a number of times,” she added.
She’s hoping to find a new job with an advocacy group, possibly one with less of a hard and fast rule on flipping the bird.
“In some ways, I’m doing better than ever,” she told HuffPost. “I’m angry about where our country is right now. I am appalled. This was an opportunity for me to say something.”