Juli Briskman was riding her biked, when she flipped off the Presidential motorcade that was transporting President Donald Trump to the golf course one day last fall. When a photographer happened to catch the moment on film, the photo went viral. Then, Briskman’s life was turned upside down when she lost her job.
Here’s how she begins an essay in the Washington Post:
One sunny Saturday last fall, I hopped on my bike and headed out for a ride near my home in Virginia. President Trump decided to spend some time outdoors that day, too, at the golf course he owns, not far from my biking route. Our paths crossed on Lowes Island Boulevard. As his motorcade sped by, I extended my middle finger in a brief and almost reflexive expression of my frustration with his mean-spirited and narrow-minded politics.
Three days later, I lost my job.
Briskman is suing her former employer, Akima LLC for firing her. Politico has the story:
She went on to describe what she believes is the issue at hand:
Briskman has filed a lawsuit against her employer, Akima LLC, alleging that her firing violated Virginia law because it suppressed her right to free speech in her personal time based on a fear of government retaliation. She likened her firing to the situation of Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL conference champion quarterback who nonetheless has been unable to make his way on to a league roster since Trump turned players who kneel during the national anthem — a protest started by Kaepernick — into a national issue.
“This sort of behavior is familiar to people living in Egypt, Hungary, Thailand, Turkey and Russia, where the ability to do business increasingly depends on being seen as favorable to the regime,” she wrote. “If Americans can keep their jobs only when they refrain from criticizing the president, then that freedom is lost. And once the freedom to speak is lost, then the rest of our constitutional rights will not be far behind.”
Watch the video below:
Image Credit: Screen Shot of embedded Washington Post video, photo originally captured by White House photographers
Hat Tip: Washington Post