The woman captured in a photo giving President Donald Trump’s motorcade the middle finger is finding she has thousands of supporters online.
A GoFundMe page put together by Rob Mello to support cyclist Juli Briskman has taken off, raising $113,900 from 5,049 people in 10 days as of Thursday morning. The fundraising has already exceed the campaign’s goal of raiing $100,000 that will go directly to Briskman.
“Juli Briskman is an inspiration to us all,” the page’s description begins. “This week we learned that she was fired from her employer for exercising her first amendment rights.”
On Oct. 31, Briskman, 50, was fired from her job with government contracting firm Akima LLC of Virginia after notifying them that she was the cyclist in the viral photo, according to The Washington Post. The image was taken a few days before by a White House photographer, Time magazine reports.
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Akima cited social media policy violations as its reason for letting Briskman go. She had posted the photo to her social media accounts.
“I never imagined that my ‘one-finger salute’ to the presidential motorcade and its occupant would cost me my job,” Briskman said in a post on the GoFundMe page.
As a mother of two, Briskman was “shocked and worried” after being terminated from her job, she says on the page. Among her chief concerns: How to break the news to her kids and how she would cover the mortgage and health care.
Through the donations she’s received, she says, “many of those heavy burdens have been lifted.”
Asked by NBC’s Megyn Kelly earlier this month if she regrets her actions, Briskman said “no” and “I think we have a big problem in this country.”
She says she will be making an effort to individually thank every donor and read every message. “I have about 4,000 more to read!” she posted Thursday.
“I am not sure what the future holds, but I am buoyed by your support,” Briskman says. “For now, I can just say THANK YOU and promise to be a good steward of these funds.”