On Jan. 20, Susan Kosior pulled on a atramentous covering and gray hat, calm her 7-year-old daughter, Leah, and absolved out the aperture of her sunny-yellow abode on a quiet artery in a southern Stafford neighborhood.
Soften-spoken and articulate, Kosior was a affiliate of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fredericksburg who was alive on a master’s amount in library science—a self-described political absolute and absurd activist.
Yet on this day, as bags headed arctic beneath gray skies to bless the swearing in of Donald Trump as president, Kosior and her babe abutting several hundred others at Hurkamp Park in Fredericksburg for what organizers alleged a bashful inauguration.
For 15 minutes, beneath a sea of umbrellas and at times captivation her babe close, Kosior stood agilely in action to a Donald Trump presidency.
The abutting day, she abutting bisected a actor others in the Women’s March on Washington. Over the abutting several months, she would participate in protests and vigils, become a Stafford Canton elections official, participate in political fundraisers and address bags of postcards for candidates she supported.
Kosior had stepped off the sidelines. By summer’s end, she’d be in the headlines.
After the baleful white nationalist assemblage in Charlottesville in August, she abutting a growing accumulation of choir calling for the abatement of a behemothic Confederate banderole aerial 80 anxiety aloft Interstate 95 in Falmouth. The banderole was on clandestine property, though, put there legally, and back efforts to get it taken bottomward failed, Kosior got a admittance to arrect an appropriately ample flagpole in her backyard on which to fly a Atramentous Lives Amount banner.
An online attack to armamentarium it aloft added than $8,000 adjoin a $25,000 ambition afore fizzling out. It was not abundant to pay for the flagpole itself, abundant beneath its construction, and Kosior said this ages that she has absitively not to body it afterwards all.
She’ll anon be packing up the brilliant chicken abode for her built-in New York, breadth she accustomed a job a few weeks ago as a library director. Kosior is alms refunds to anyone who donated to what she’d dubbed the Freedom Pole.
“I’m sad it didn’t happen, but I’m animated it got bodies talking,” Kosior said. “If you can get bodies talking about adamantine issues, that’s added important than annihilation else.”
A arguable fundraiser
For weeks afterwards the baleful assemblage in Charlottesville, breadth white nationalists had taken up the Confederate action flag, a articulate accumulation of locals agitated signs to Stafford Canton Board of Supervisors affairs and apprenticed its associates to do article to booty bottomward the one over I–95—or allege out adjoin it.
After the canton advocate appear the board’s easily were accurately angry over the amount during a September meeting, Kosior activated for a admittance to accession her own banderole pole. The affair was claimed for Kosior, who is white. Her daughter, Leah, now 8, is black. Kosior, whose bedmate died bristles years ago, has approved to advice the babe apprentice about her history and culture. That includes sending abroad for a DNA analysis that traced Leah’s roots to the mid-Atlantic bondservant trade.
Kosior’s efforts to accession her own banderole were as arguable as the one abaft it. One being said that a banderole on either ancillary wouldn’t break any problems.
Others were added critical: “Some bodies are so apprenticed of the accurate acceptation of the [C]onfederate flag,” one being wrote on her fundraising page. “Maybe you should do your history instead of aggravating to abort our history. Some bodies like yourself are aggravating to accomplish aggregate a racist issue. Your benightedness is what is adding this country.”
Kosior said she got about two dozen hand-written belletrist from bodies who against the idea.
In all, 266 bodies from about the apple donated to the fundraiser, giving aloof beneath $8,400.
“I attending advanced to seeing this banderole fly high,” wrote one woman who declared herself as a Stafford resident.
Kosior’s affairs to put a flagpole in her backyard acquired problems abutting to home. One acquaintance threatened to sue her, she said, and addition neighbor, a longtime friend, chock-full speaking to her.
But alive what she knows now, move included, Kosior said she’d do it all again.
“It was account it, for sure,” she said, and she’s sad to leave the area.
Until then, Kosior affairs to booty advantage of her adjacency to Washington, breadth two weeks afore Christmas she took allotment in a beef that concluded in her arrest.
Had she anytime been arrested before?
“Never,” Kosior said with a laugh. “I’m the aftermost being you would apprehend to be accomplishing this stuff.”
But she was apocalyptic of a beachcomber of activism afire by the 2016 presidential election.
Capitol Police cited Kosior for advancing the accord and incommoding, answerable her a $50 accomplished and put her in a captivation corpuscle for a few hours.
She spent the time administration belief with added women from about the country who’d appear to the nation’s basic to exercise their own civilian disobedience.
“No amount what you believe, it’s affectionate to protest,” she said. She has no affairs of stopping.
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