When you think of protests, a few iconic images may come to mind. You may think of the man who stood in front of tanks so they could not get by during the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Maybe you think of the image of Leshia Evans standing calmly in front of police at a Black Lives Matter protest.
Or you may think of the photograph that has become the latest viral image depicting nonviolent resistance. The picture captures a 16-year-old girl scout at a rally in Brno, Czech Republic, facing off with an angry neo-Nazi demonstrator. The rally was held by the neo-Nazi Workers Party of Social Justice on May Day.
Myslikova is receiving widespread praise for her calm demeanor when peacefully confronting the demonstrator.
In a telephone interview from her school, Myslikova told BBC, “I wasn’t afraid.”
“I went to the counter-demonstration as someone who was determined to change things. To me it makes sense to try and change the world around me,” continued Myslikova. “I think young people should get involved in such things. They should be aware of what’s going on. You ask me if standing up to skinheads should be left to older people – well us, younger people, are going to be living here a lot longer than the older generation.”
Myslikova was just one of a number of girl scouts who came to the rally to peacefully protest against the neo-Nazi demonstration. The girl scouts reportedly came together to outnumber the far-right protesters by about two to one.
The argument, Myslikova explained, was over immigration and refugees. The 16-year-old explained that in her opinion, countries have a duty to help people fleeing from war and conflict.
To this, the neo-Nazi man responded that the girl would be raped by the very people she was trying to save. Despite these attempts to instill an irrational fear in Myslikova, the girl scout maintains that it is the duty of people to speak up for and to defend the people who cannot speak for themselves.
The expression ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ has been demonstrated over and over again. This photo taken by fellow demonstrator Victor Cicmanec is no exception. Myslikova stands calmly, a slight smile on her face, eye-to-eye with a screaming skinhead. There is no question as to which of these two will ensure a better future for the world.
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