Activist Arrested For Removing Confederate Flag At South Carolina Statehouse

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CBSNewYork/AP) — A woman was arrested for climbing a flagpole and removing the Confederate flag from in front of the South Carolina Statehouse, police say.

Brittany Newsome was about halfway up the more than 30-foot steel flagpole just after dawn Saturday and announced “this flag comes down today,” when State Capitol police told her to come down, CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reports.

Instead, Newsome continued up and removed the flag before returning to the ground.

Newsome and James Tyson who had entered the wrought-iron fence surrounding the flag were arrested. Both were later released on a $3,000 bond.

When asked why she did what she did, Newsome responded, “because it was the right thing to do and it was time for somebody to step up. Do the right thing. We have to bury hate; it’s been too long.”

The flag, which is protected by state law, was raised again a short time later. A rally by flag supporters was scheduled for later Saturday.

Calls for removing the flag have been renewed since nine black churchgoers were killed in what police characterized as a racist attack at a Charleston, South Carolina church last week.

“Removing the flag from this state’s capitol would not be an act of political correctness,” President Obama said. “It would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought, the cause of slavery was wrong.”

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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