As hundreds of right-wing extremists marched down the streets in uniform in Sweden, one brave black woman stood in their path while raising her fist in the air.
Tess Asplund, 42, defiantly stood in front of 300 neo-Nazis from the far-right group known as the Nordic Resistance Movement.
The image of her brave action is being shared across the Internet. Ms. Asplund is now a hero to many after she showed no fear.
This is the moment one brave woman stepped out in front of the leaders of a 300-strong Nazi march – and raised her fist in defiance. The racist group was holding a rally on International Workers’ Day this weekend.
— Antonio Sicilia (@siciliantonio) May 5, 2016
I'm obsessed with this picture and this woman right now. pic.twitter.com/Wrx912AEag
— Robert Pearce (@RobertP_Actor) May 5, 2016
Asplund’s actions caught the attention of J.K. Rowling:
Look what this woman did.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 4, 2016
The Associated Press reports:
The 42-year-old anti-racism activist told Swedish Radio her defiant gesture was inspired by the late Nelson Mandela, who fought against apartheid in South Africa.
“I felt when they arrived that they shouldn’t be here and spread their hate,” Asplund said. “I don’t think I was even thinking. I just jumped out. Things happened quite quickly. Then a police officer pulled me away.”
Asplund was surprised at the attention the photograph garnered.
“I have fought against racism for 26 years. I am 42 now. And if this is a thing that makes people pay attention to the fight against racism and xenophobia, then that’s very good,” Asplund told Swedish Radio. “But I don’t want people to see me as a symbol. There were a lot of others who were there against the racists in Borlange.”
The photographer who took the picture, David Lagerlof, said he was there to take photos of the approaching march when Asplund suddenly walked out into the middle of the street.
“I thought, ‘how is this going to end?’ She got out there and stared into the eyes of the leader of the demonstration. They continued going forward, stone-faced.”
What an amazing woman.