Europe 2016: One woman stands alone against 300 Nazi, becoming an iconic symbol in the fight against racism
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
Terrorism is the modern age scariest threat and one of its many consequences is that racism becomes an even bigger issue. This is a dangerous cycle fuelled day by day and the whole world is involved.
One of the most recent and prolonged crisis is happening in Europe, who is dealing with the flood of refugees, fleeing their homes in fear of the terrorist organization ISIS and an alarming increase of terrorist attacks all over the continent, like those in Brussels and Paris.
In all this craziness there are people who conquer their fear and rise to speak up against racism, becoming symbols of humanity.
Would you stand up in front of over 300 dangerous Nazi and oppose them? The amazing Tess Asplund did that on her own and has become viral all over the internet, her iconic photo being shared by thousands of people all over the social media networks.
Tess Asplund is a 42 year old black woman, living in Sweden who went at a Nazy rally of the Nordic Resistance Movement in Borlange, Dalarna and stood alone, in silence, with her fist raised high up, against the 300 men. Her gesture is even more impressive given that most of these men were convicted for violent crimes and are right wing extremists.
The courageous gesture of Tess was captured by the Danish photographer David Lagerlöf, who posted the photo both on Facebook and Twitter declaring:
“A single woman steps out into the street and stands in front of Sweden’s most violent Nazi organization.
‘The place is Borlänge, 1st May, where the Nazi’s have gotten a demonstration permit. In a single gesture, the woman then raises her fist and refuses to move. “What is she thinking?” is my surprised reaction while I raise the camera to take the picture.
‘In front of her, the organization’s leader set moves closer in solemn silence. The woman’s gaze meets that of the man in the middle, the leader of the Nazi organization who appears to stare back at her.
‘There is a short “battle of the gazes” before the police steps in and removes the woman.”
After this, Tess was shocked to find out that her photo and gesture have become viral and all the major newspapers in Europe were calling her to get a statement.
She declared to the media that she has been an activist for 26 years and she explained her brave gesture:
““It was an impulse. I was so angry, I just went out into the street…I was thinking: hell no, they can’t march here! I had this adrenaline. No Nazi is going to march here, it’s not okay.”
The photograph of Tess Asplund standing in front the Nazi’s in defiance has been shared by thousands including J.K.Rowling, the famous British author of the Harry Potter series, writing on her Tweeter account:
“Look at what this woman did. Tess Asplund, you are magnificent.”
The example of Tess has moved people’s hearts across the world because not only it restores our faith in humanity but it also shows us that it’s time to wake up and oppose those who resort to violence and hate using fear as a tool.
All the people of this world should stand together, no matter their color or religion, because we are one. Let’s choose love instead of hate because this is the only way for humankind to survive and evolve.