Briskman was fired for posting ‘obscene’ picture of herself flipping Trump off on social media
There was a picture making its way across the internet last week of a lone cyclist flipping off President Trump’s motorcade as left a golf course in Sterling, Virginia. It was a snapshot that perfectly captured how this woman and millions of others feel about his presidency. She was exercising her right to free speech (or a free bird) and now, has lost her job because of it.
Juli Briskman’s now-famous middle finger was originally picked up when a White House pool report stated, “POTUS’s motorcade departed the Trump National Golf Club at 3:12, 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.”
Instead of trying to get #AkimaLLC to rehire Juli Briskman, let's get her a job with a company that will support her rights.
Anyone hiring? pic.twitter.com/Io8J1HyyK3
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) November 6, 2017
“He was passing by and my blood just started to boil,” she told HuffPost. “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.”
But now her employer, government contractor Akima LLC, has fired Briskman for using the photo as her profile picture on Facebook and Twitter. “Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media,’” she says of her company’s policy.
The mother of two said she immediately informed her HR department as the photo of her went viral so they were aware of the situation. The next day she was let go because she had “violated the company’s social media policy.”
Briskman had only been working at Akima for just over six months and wasn’t working when the picture was taken. But because Akima is a government contractor, they told her it could be detrimental to their business even though Briskman doesn’t have anything related to her employer on her social media.
Briskman also told HuffPost that a male colleague was able to continue working at Akima after posting a comment on his Facebook page, calling someone “a fucking Libtard asshole.” He was just told to delete the comment and no other action was taken. Because, you know, that seems a lot less offensive than flipping someone off.
It seems people are using the power of social media to show their support for Briskman:
That woman who flipped off Trump's motorcade? I talked to her this weekend. She just got fired. https://t.co/cv4mnNHlKs— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) November 6, 2017
— Tracey Cambridge (@TraceyCambridge) November 6, 2017
— Patricia L Harris (@patricialeapens) November 6, 2017
They said “Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media.” In other words: We want to control your life.— Migrant Engineer (@MigrantEngineer) November 6, 2017
Hey Akima - you know what hurts business even more? Firing Juli Briskman for doing something we all want to do.— marshy (@sirmarshy) November 6, 2017
“In some ways, I’m doing better than ever,” she says. “I’m angry about where our country is right now. I am appalled. This was an opportunity for me to say something.”