‘Enough is enough’: Activist who brought down Confederate flag wants to end hate

Bree Newsome, btbThe activist who brought down the Confederate flag outside the South Carolina Capitol claims she was motivated by her desire to ‘end hate’.

Bree Newsome scaled the 30-foot flagpole on Saturday morning in front of the Statehouse in Columbia before she was arrested.

The 30-year-old filmmaker has since been charged with defacing a monument and faces three years in prison.

But she believes her actions had inspired people around the country and insists: ‘We needed that moment to say “enough is enough”.’

In an interview with Good Morning America, she said: ‘How much longer do we want to go forward like this?

‘It’s time to reconcile ourselves with the past and move forward into a better future where everyone has equal rights.’

The act of what Newsome describes as ‘civil disobedience’ comes as the debate over the flag’s removal continues to rage on across the United States.

It began when pictures emerged of Charleston massacre suspect Dylann Roof holding the controversial standard.

He uploaded the images to his personal blog, which included a ranting manifesto filled with racial hatred.

Since then politicians across the country have been arguing over the flag’s meaning, and have questioned whether it should remain outside government buildings.

Retailers have stopped selling Confederate-branded merchandise while protests have erupted, some sparking fist fights.

Newsome added: ‘The majority of people in this nation are good. The majority of people in this nation want peace. We want to eliminate, and we want more equality, and I think the outpouring support reflects that.’

Newsome was about halfway up the pole just after dawn Saturday when State Capitol police told her to come down.

Instead, she continued up and removed the flag before returning to the ground.

As she calmly descended the pole and lowered the flag into the waiting arms of police, Newsome said ‘the Lord is my light and my salvation’ and announced she was prepared to be arrested.

Newsome, who was decked out in climbing gear and wore a helmet during her courageous climb, and a man, James Tyson, who entered the wrought-iron fence surrounding the flag were arrested.

Tyson, also 30, is a political activist who has campaigned to save the rain forest and was part of the Occupy movement in Charlotte.

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