After generating headlines for flipping off President Donald Trump while cycling, and generating more when she lost her job for doing so, Juli Briskman received more than $100,000 in donations.
Briskman received ample social media attention early November when a White House news photographer caught an image of her flipping off Trump’s motorcade on Halloween night as it passed her bike route, according to NDTV.
After the image blew up on social media, Briskman informed her employers, Akima LLC, that she was in the photo. In response, they fired her for violating social media obscenity policies, generating even more media attention, according to CBS News.
However, a GoFundMe started by Massachusetts resident Rob Mello in her name, called “Thank you Juli Briskman,” raised $105,903 in nine days from 4,678 donors. Mello said the campaign was started because Briskman’s employers violated her first amendment rights by firing her for flipping Trump off.
Briskman posted an update Nov. 14 on the GoFundMe thanking supporters for using a crowdfunding formula to help her pay for her daughter’s impending birthday party, healthcare costs, mortgage and living expenses as she searches for a new job.
“I am not sure what the future holds, but I am buoyed by your support. For now, I can just say THANK YOU and promise to be a good steward of these funds,” she said in the GoFundMe update.
Briskman told the Washington Post that she was fired despite the fact that neither the photo nor her social media accounts identified her as an Akima employee. In addition, she said she also found vulgar, politically motivated comments left publicly on Facebook by a senior director whose account did identify him as an Akima employee.
“You’re a f*****g Libtard a*****e,” read a comment left by the director on a post regarding Black Lives Matter, according to the Washington Post.
Briskman said she came across the comment as a social media monitor over the summer and flagged the it for review, but the employee was not fired for his comment, instead allowed to remove it and clean up his profile.
Since being fired, Briskman has contacted the American Civil Liberties Union and said she has no regrets about flipping Trump off. “I’d do it again,” she said.