A cyclist who gave President of the United States Donald Trump the middle finger as she rode alongside his motorcade on Virginia last week has been sacked from her job.
An image of the woman flipping the bird at Trump’s car, taken by a member of the White House press pool in Sterling, Virginia as the president headed for a round of golf, went viral on social media last month and was reported on by media around the world.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) October 29, 2017
But now, Juli Briskman, aged 50, has revealed that her gesture of defiance against the president resulted in her being summarily dismissed from her job in marketing and communications with government contractor Akima.
She told the Huffington Post that last Monday, after the picture achieved worldwide notoriety, she told her employers that she was the cyclist pictured in the photo.
The following day she was sacked, ostensibly because she had used the image as her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook, in violation of Akima’s social media policy for its staff.
She explained: “They said, ‘We’re separating from you’. Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media. So they were calling flipping him off ‘obscene.’”
Virginia is what is termed an ‘employment-at-will’ state, where employers can terminate a worker’s employment at any time and on any grounds.
But Briskam, who had worked for Akima for six months, pointed out that a male co-worker who had called someone “a fucking Libtard asshole” on Facebook, where his profile included reference to the company, but he was not fired.
She said: “How is that any less ‘obscene’ than me flipping off the president? How is that fair?”
Referring to the moment she flipped the bird at Trump - formerly the host of US reality show The Apprentice, where he coined it's "You're fired!" catchphrase , the Democrat voter said: “He was passing by and my blood just started to boil.
“I’m thinking, DACA recipients are getting kicked out,” she said, referring to a programme protecting children arriving in the US as refugees.
“He pulled ads for open enrolment in Obamacare,” she continued. “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.”
Briskman added that she had no regrets about what she did, saying: “In some ways, I’m doing better than ever.
“I’m angry about where our country is right now. I am appalled. This was an opportunity for me to say something.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.