Woman Fired For Flipping Off Trump's Motorcade

WASHINGTON ― You may have seen this photo of President Donald Trump’s motorcade winding down a wooded road last week as a woman on a bicycle pedaled by ― giving the middle finger to Trump.

(Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty Images)
(Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty Images)

The picture, snapped by a White House photographer traveling with the president as he left his golf course in Sterling, Va., went viral almost immediately. News outlets picked up the story when it appeared in a White House pool report. Late-night talk show hosts told jokes about the encounter and people on social media began hailing the unidentified woman as a “she-ro,” using the hashtag #Her2020.

The woman’s name is Juli Briskman. Her employer, government contractor Akima LLC, wasn’t so happy about the photo. They fired her over it.

In a Saturday interview with HuffPost, Briskman, a 50-year-old mother of two, said she was stunned that someone had taken a picture of her giving Trump the middle finger.

As the photo circulated online, Briskman decided to tell Akima’s HR department what was happening when she went to work on Monday. By Tuesday, her bosses called her into a meeting and said she had violated the company’s social media policy by using the photo as her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook.

“They said, ‘We’re separating from you,‘” said Briskman. “Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media. So they were calling flipping him off ‘obscene.’”

Briskman, who worked in marketing and communications at Akima for just over six months, said she emphasized to the executives that she wasn’t on the job when the incident happened and that her social media pages don’t mention her employer. They told her that because Akima was a government contractor, the photo could hurt their business, she said.

Virginia is an employment-at-will state, meaning employers can fire people anytime and for any reason. But Briskman said what’s been particularly infuriating is that a male colleague kept his job after recently posting lewd comments on his Facebook page that featured Akima LLC as his cover photo. She said this colleague was reprimanded for calling someone “a fucking Libtard asshole” on Facebook, but was allowed to delete the post and keep his job.

“How is that any less ‘obscene’ than me flipping off the president?” she asked. “How is that fair?”

Akima did not respond to requests for comment via email and phone.

Someone posted this graphic on Juli Briskman's Facebook page after she flipped off the president's motorcade. Briskman was amused. (Photo: Juli Briskman)
Someone posted this graphic on Juli Briskman's Facebook page after she flipped off the president's motorcade. Briskman was amused. (Photo: Juli Briskman)

Asked what she was thinking when she saw Trump’s motorcade roll up next to her, Briskman said it was a gut reaction to flip him off.

“He was passing by and my blood just started to boil,” she said. “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.”

“I flipped off the motorcade a number of times,” she added.

Briskman, a Democrat, said she plans to look for a new job with an advocacy group that she believes in, like Planned Parenthood or PETA.

Despite getting fired, she said she has no regrets about the attention her public show of displeasure with Trump received. In fact, she said she’s happy to be an image of protest that resonates with many Americans.

“In some ways, I’m doing better than ever,” she said. “I’m angry about where our country is right now. I am appalled. This was an opportunity for me to say something.”

UPDATE: 11:54 a.m. Monday ― Akima’s website went down later Monday. Here’s a screenshot.

UPDATE: 11:41 a.m. Tuesday ― Briskman’s friends have started a GoFundMe campaign to help her raise money while she looks for a new job.

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1909

Two Garment Workers Picketing, circa 1909.
Two Garment Workers Picketing, circa 1909.

1912

America suffragette parade in New York circa 1912.
America suffragette parade in New York circa 1912.

1912

Mrs Raymond Robbins and a group of women suffragists in front of the Coliseum at the time of the Republican National Convention, Chicago, Illinois, 1912. The Coliseum was located at 1513 South Wabash Avenue. Robbins is holding a pennant that reads: 'Votes for women.' From the Chicago Daily News collection.
Mrs Raymond Robbins and a group of women suffragists in front of the Coliseum at the time of the Republican National Convention, Chicago, Illinois, 1912. The Coliseum was located at 1513 South Wabash Avenue. Robbins is holding a pennant that reads: 'Votes for women.' From the Chicago Daily News collection.

1913

Members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association marching with a banner which publicizes their '1000 branches organized in 38 states' at the New York Suffragette Parade on May 3, 1913.
Members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association marching with a banner which publicizes their '1000 branches organized in 38 states' at the New York Suffragette Parade on May 3, 1913.

1918

Suffragettes hold up banner in front of a building that has an architrave sign of the National Woman's Party circa 1918.
Suffragettes hold up banner in front of a building that has an architrave sign of the National Woman's Party circa 1918.

1919

Lucy Branham, Suffragette, at Rally, Washington DC, USA, circa 1919.
Lucy Branham, Suffragette, at Rally, Washington DC, USA, circa 1919.

1920

Boston women pickets are centering their drive to prevent the export of coal to that England on Sep. 22, 1920. Three of the women pickets are shown patrolling the waterfront in East Boston. The picketing is designed, the leaders said, to thwart the effort of Lloyd George to import 150,000,000 tons of coal from America to England thus breaking the strike of British Coal Miners.
Boston women pickets are centering their drive to prevent the export of coal to that England on Sep. 22, 1920. Three of the women pickets are shown patrolling the waterfront in East Boston. The picketing is designed, the leaders said, to thwart the effort of Lloyd George to import 150,000,000 tons of coal from America to England thus breaking the strike of British Coal Miners.

1937

American police use tear gas against women pickets at the Newton Steel Company, Monroe, Michigan on June 10, 1937. 
American police use tear gas against women pickets at the Newton Steel Company, Monroe, Michigan on June 10, 1937. 

1935

Unemployed, single women protesting the job placement of married women before themselves at the Emergency Relief Administration headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts June 24, 1935.
Unemployed, single women protesting the job placement of married women before themselves at the Emergency Relief Administration headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts June 24, 1935.

1938

Over three thousand Spanish American women, representing 20,000 members of the united Committees of Spanish Women in America arrived by special train in Washington today to publicize the plight of Spain's women and children and urge our government to revoke the embargo government of Spain circa 1938. Photo shows the sympathizers marching to the State Department and the white House with hopes of seeing the president and the Secretary of State. In the background can be seen the Capitol.
Over three thousand Spanish American women, representing 20,000 members of the united Committees of Spanish Women in America arrived by special train in Washington today to publicize the plight of Spain's women and children and urge our government to revoke the embargo government of Spain circa 1938. Photo shows the sympathizers marching to the State Department and the white House with hopes of seeing the president and the Secretary of State. In the background can be seen the Capitol.

1946

To protest against the rising prices, the GI's widows demonstrate on 5th Avenue, 1946 in New York City, United States. 
To protest against the rising prices, the GI's widows demonstrate on 5th Avenue, 1946 in New York City, United States. 

1946

Retail strike against Sears by clerks in Chicago, Illinois, USA, circa 1946.
Retail strike against Sears by clerks in Chicago, Illinois, USA, circa 1946.

1947

Employees of the Arthur Murray Dance Studios picket in a conga line before the dance studio offices today, May 7 in protest against Murray's alleged refusal to recognize Local 16, United Office and Professional Workers of America, CIO in New York on May 7, 1947. 
Employees of the Arthur Murray Dance Studios picket in a conga line before the dance studio offices today, May 7 in protest against Murray's alleged refusal to recognize Local 16, United Office and Professional Workers of America, CIO in New York on May 7, 1947. 

1949

Two housewives in gay blue bonnets, Mrs. J.C. Alicoate (L) of Miami, and Mrs. Arthur Hebb, Jr. of Baltimore, add their bit towards the fight for repeal of the tax on oleomargarine. They parade with their signs near the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on March 3, 1949.
Two housewives in gay blue bonnets, Mrs. J.C. Alicoate (L) of Miami, and Mrs. Arthur Hebb, Jr. of Baltimore, add their bit towards the fight for repeal of the tax on oleomargarine. They parade with their signs near the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on March 3, 1949.

1951

American housewives demonstrate against the high price of meat, on March 14, 1951 in the streets of Philadelphia. 
American housewives demonstrate against the high price of meat, on March 14, 1951 in the streets of Philadelphia. 

1954

Negro delegates from several states parade with signs in front of the White House to protest the mob slaying of four negroes in Georgia recently in Washington, D.C circa 1954. The picketers were mostly women and they carried on their demonstration in an orderly manner, letting their signs tell their story. 
Negro delegates from several states parade with signs in front of the White House to protest the mob slaying of four negroes in Georgia recently in Washington, D.C circa 1954. The picketers were mostly women and they carried on their demonstration in an orderly manner, letting their signs tell their story. 

Circa 1960s

Picture shows people picketing outside of the White House in protest of the US involvement with Cuba. The woman in the foreground is holding a sign plainly stating her point, 'Don't invade Cuba'. Undated photo circa 1960s.
Picture shows people picketing outside of the White House in protest of the US involvement with Cuba. The woman in the foreground is holding a sign plainly stating her point, 'Don't invade Cuba'. Undated photo circa 1960s.

1961

A group of women outside the Russian Mission to the United Nations in New York City protest the testing of nuclear arms on Nov. 1, 1961. They are part of the Women's Strike for Peace, a one-day demonstration by American women in many cities throughout the United States.
A group of women outside the Russian Mission to the United Nations in New York City protest the testing of nuclear arms on Nov. 1, 1961. They are part of the Women's Strike for Peace, a one-day demonstration by American women in many cities throughout the United States.

1963

A full length portrait of a woman holding up a poster and demonstrating outside a Police Station, Gwynn Oak, Maryland, July 1, 1963. 
A full length portrait of a woman holding up a poster and demonstrating outside a Police Station, Gwynn Oak, Maryland, July 1, 1963. 

1963

African American woman being carried to police patrol wagon during demonstration in Brooklyn, New York circa 1963. 
African American woman being carried to police patrol wagon during demonstration in Brooklyn, New York circa 1963. 

1965

Denver members of Women's League for International Peace and Freedom display sing of protest, photo left. They're Mrs. John Gilmore, left, and Mrs. Caswell Silver on Dec 10, 1965. 
Denver members of Women's League for International Peace and Freedom display sing of protest, photo left. They're Mrs. John Gilmore, left, and Mrs. Caswell Silver on Dec 10, 1965. 

1965

Alabama State troopers 'frisk' Negro youths arrested during demonstrations here prior to boarding them on buses. More than 130 were arrested in Marion, AL on Feb. 5, 1965. 
Alabama State troopers 'frisk' Negro youths arrested during demonstrations here prior to boarding them on buses. More than 130 were arrested in Marion, AL on Feb. 5, 1965. 

1965

The House of Representatives met today to affirm seating of its Mississippi members, as Civil Rights demonstrators massed in silent support of their claim that the State's elections were illegal because blacks were barred from the polls August 17, 1965. Three members of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party's contestants for the state's five seats hold a telegram from Speaker John McCormick granting them permission to take seats on the House floor during the debate. They are, left to right: Fannie Lou Hamer, Victoria Gray, and Annie Devine.
The House of Representatives met today to affirm seating of its Mississippi members, as Civil Rights demonstrators massed in silent support of their claim that the State's elections were illegal because blacks were barred from the polls August 17, 1965. Three members of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party's contestants for the state's five seats hold a telegram from Speaker John McCormick granting them permission to take seats on the House floor during the debate. They are, left to right: Fannie Lou Hamer, Victoria Gray, and Annie Devine.

1967

Demonstrators representing the 'Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam,' jam to the barred main gate of the White House today in Washington, D.C. on May 17, 1967. The group was led by Mrs. Martin Luther King (center) and Dr. Benjamin Spock (glasses, directly behind Mrs. King), who read a statement denouncing the Administration policies in Vietnam.
Demonstrators representing the 'Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam,' jam to the barred main gate of the White House today in Washington, D.C. on May 17, 1967. The group was led by Mrs. Martin Luther King (center) and Dr. Benjamin Spock (glasses, directly behind Mrs. King), who read a statement denouncing the Administration policies in Vietnam.

1967

Carrying graphically illustrated anti-Vietnamese war posters, members of the 'Women's Strike for Peace' push their way to the doors of the Pentagon Building on Feb. 16, 1967. The main doors of the building were locked for 30 minutes, as the women stormed the doors in an effort to gain entrance. This photo is a close-up of the group.
Carrying graphically illustrated anti-Vietnamese war posters, members of the 'Women's Strike for Peace' push their way to the doors of the Pentagon Building on Feb. 16, 1967. The main doors of the building were locked for 30 minutes, as the women stormed the doors in an effort to gain entrance. This photo is a close-up of the group.

1967

In the Boston Marathon, one of two women running in the normally all-male-race, Kathy Switzer, (261) of Syracuse, New York, is being hassled by BAA Marathon Director Bill Cloney, as he attempted to stop her from competing on April 19, 1967. The dark-haired girl did not show up for the physical examination required of all starters, (had she appeared at the starting line, she would never have been allowed to compete). she remained in the race, but was never seen near the finish line.
In the Boston Marathon, one of two women running in the normally all-male-race, Kathy Switzer, (261) of Syracuse, New York, is being hassled by BAA Marathon Director Bill Cloney, as he attempted to stop her from competing on April 19, 1967. The dark-haired girl did not show up for the physical examination required of all starters, (had she appeared at the starting line, she would never have been allowed to compete). she remained in the race, but was never seen near the finish line.

1968

Two older women making peace signs during anti-Vietnam war march on April 27, 1968.
Two older women making peace signs during anti-Vietnam war march on April 27, 1968.

1968

Several women protesters burn what they say are draft cards belonging to friend in a demonstration at the Federal court today in support of Dr. Benjamin Spock. Spock and three others were convicted in Boston Tuesday of conspiring to counsel young men to evade the draft. June 20, 1968.
Several women protesters burn what they say are draft cards belonging to friend in a demonstration at the Federal court today in support of Dr. Benjamin Spock. Spock and three others were convicted in Boston Tuesday of conspiring to counsel young men to evade the draft. June 20, 1968.

1968

Women hold up signs demanding equal rights during a demonstration for women's liberation, New York City, circa 1968. 
Women hold up signs demanding equal rights during a demonstration for women's liberation, New York City, circa 1968. 

1969

A young American woman holds up a sign as she protests for women's rights in front of the Federal Trade Commission headquarters while policemen look on during Richard Nixon's inauguration weekend, Washington, DC, January 18-21, 1969. Her sign reads 'Judge women as people not as wives.' 
A young American woman holds up a sign as she protests for women's rights in front of the Federal Trade Commission headquarters while policemen look on during Richard Nixon's inauguration weekend, Washington, DC, January 18-21, 1969. Her sign reads 'Judge women as people not as wives.' 

1969

A woman emerges from a crowd of peace demonstrators making peace signs and singing for peace at a demonstration against the Vietnamese War circa 1969.
A woman emerges from a crowd of peace demonstrators making peace signs and singing for peace at a demonstration against the Vietnamese War circa 1969.

1969

A group of young women have arms interlocked as they hold a metal pipe and protest the Vietnam War at Fort Dix, a major transshipment point for American soldiers, Fort Dix, New Jersey, October 12, 1969. 
A group of young women have arms interlocked as they hold a metal pipe and protest the Vietnam War at Fort Dix, a major transshipment point for American soldiers, Fort Dix, New Jersey, October 12, 1969. 

1969

Students march with anti-war placards on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, California, 1969.
Students march with anti-war placards on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, California, 1969.

1969

A woman at a rally in support of the Black Panthers, holding copies of The Black Panther newspaper, New Haven, CT, November, 1969.
A woman at a rally in support of the Black Panthers, holding copies of The Black Panther newspaper, New Haven, CT, November, 1969.

Circa 1970s

A lone woman stands on a corner protesting unequal pay for women in an unidentified section of Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1970s. 
A lone woman stands on a corner protesting unequal pay for women in an unidentified section of Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1970s. 

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.