While many stood and watched silently as hundreds of neo-Nazis took to the streets for an organized march, one woman stood up to the hate.
The now-iconic moment was captured on camera by photographer David Lagerlöf, who works with an anti-racism group Expo, in Borlange, central Sweden, where the notorious Nazi organization called Nordiska motståndsrörelsen (Nordic Resistance Movement) held a rally on May 1, International Workers' Day.
There were between 200-300 neo-Nazis, but that didn’t stop 42-year-old Tess Asplund from facing them with her arm in the air.
“I don’t think I even thought about it really, I just jumped out,” she said, according to The Local. “I just thought: You shouldn’t be here. Then one of them stared at me and I stared back. He didn’t say anything and neither did I. Then the police came fairly quickly and took me away.”
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Explaining why she chose to raise her fist, Asplund said she often uses the gesture and that she borrowed it from Nelson Mandela.
“I normally stand with a raised fist at demonstrations, this is not new to me,” Asplund, who has been an activist for 26 years, told P4 Dalarna.
The neo-Nazi movement, especially in Sweden, has increasingly made headlines over the past couple of months, mostly for violent incidents.
For instance, in January, dozens of masked men, believed to be Neo-Nazis, reportedly attacked migrants in Stockholm in a bid to intimidate incoming refugees from the Middle East. They also handed out posters threatening to give the “punishment they deserve” to “the North African street children who are roaming around.”
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