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Meet Truly Amazing Woman Juli Briskman — the cyclist who flashed her middle finger at Trump’s motorcade in 2016. Here’s what happened next.
I bet you’ve heard of Juli Briskman, the Northern, VA mom who was riding her bike in Leesburg on a fall afternoon in October 2016 when President Trump’s motorcade happened to ride by. Her instinct to speak her mind, and frustration about the state of the new nation, she flashed her middle finger at his car.
A photographer from the French press who was following the parade of cars witnessed her gesture, and snapped a photo that would forever change Juli’s life.
Within hours, the picture went viral and was published in dozens of US newspapers including The Washington Post, and The New York Times, as well as many more publications across Europe. By the following day, it had spread like wildfire through social media outlets.
A seasoned marketing analyst who was then working for a DC-based defense contractor, Juli knew the publicity wasn’t going to make her employers happy. So first thing Monday morning, she went to the HR department at the firm and told the director what had happened. Although she was assured that because she didn’t flip-off the President of the United States on company time, her position at the organization was safe.
However, the following morning when she reporter to work, Juli was promptly escorted from the premises. The single mom with two teenage kids counting on her for financial and emotional support gathered her belongings in shock. What was she going to do now?
That’s when this truly amazing woman kicked it into action.
Sure, she cried a little. Then Juli decided the only thing to do was fight back. She took her firm, Akima, to court — found out she lost in July 208, but did get the severance pay it tried to stiff her on.
Then she did the next thing that seemed to make sense to her — run for office. For the last year she’s been gathering support at Briskman for Supervisor, for in November 2019 she’ll challenging Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) for a seat on the Board of Supervisors in Loudoun County, VA. While hers is one of the wealthiest counties in America, nearly a quarter of residents were born outside the US, and in the last 20 years the population of white residents has dropped to 62 percent from 85 percent.
Juli admits the last three years have been a tough, but important, as she proudly goes door to door campaigning for full funding for schools, supporting women in the workforce, and creating an interconnected system of trails and parks throughout the county.
If she knew then what she knows now, would Juli do it again? “Probably. We have a right to peacefully protest and criticize and express dissent toward our government. I’ve gotten some feedback that folks say you should respect the president. Even if you don’t like what they’re doing, you shouldn’t show this sort of disdain. I simply disagree, and I think the Constitution grants me that privilege.”
What else can we learn from Juli Briskman? Check out our video interview on Inkandescent Women TV, and our longer podcast interview on Inkandescent Radio, where you’ll discover:
- What Juli was thinking when she spontaneously said “screw you” to Trump
- What happened to her — mind, body, spirit, soul — in the weeks and years that have followed
- What made her decide to run for office to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) in November 2019 for a seat on the Board of Supervisors
- The feedback has she gotten about respecting the president vs. speaking her mind
- And, what this single mom of two teens envision her life in the decades to come
We look forward to bringing you more stories about women who are making tremendous strides and changing lives in big, brave, breathtaking ways. I’m Hope Katz Gibbs, your host. Stay tuned for more!