On October 29th, Juli Briskman was photographed giving the middle finger to President Donald Trump's motorcade during a weekend bike ride in Virginia.
The photo quickly went viral. The Monday after the photo was taken, Briskman told her employer, government contractor Akima, that she was the cyclist pictured. The next day, she was fired. Akima said she was in violation of the company's social media policy because she had used the photo on her Facebook and accounts.
The mother of two does not regret her decision — as she told HuffPost "In some ways, I'm doing better than ever" — but financially, Briskman must deal with the reality of being unemployed.
As of today, the campaign has raised over $100,000 from over 4,000 donors and has been shared more than 10,000 times.
"Juli Briskman is an inspiration to us all," wrote Mello when he created the campaign. "This week we learned that she was fired from her employer for exercising her First Amendment rights. You can show your support by donating here."
In response to gifts from thousands of strangers, Briskman wrote, "I never imagined that my 'one-finger salute' to the Presidential motorcade and its occupant would cost me my job. The actions of my company were swift and unexpected."
She worried, she writes, about telling her children, affording health care, paying her mortgage and covering her family's living expenses.
"Through your generous donations, heavy burdens have been lifted. Thank you!" she writes. "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."
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