Dear Commons Community,
The lone protest of a black woman defying a march of 300 uniformed neo-Nazis is set to become an iconic image of resistance to the rise of the far-right in Scandinavia. As reported by The Guardian:
“A photograph of Tess Asplund, 42, with fist raised against the leadership of the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) in Borlänge, central Sweden, on Sunday has gone viral in the country.
“It was an impulse. I was so angry, I just went out into the street,” Asplund told the Guardian. “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.”
After joining a large counter-demonstration she took the train back to Stockholm and did not think about what happened until Monday evening, when the photograph spread on social media.
Asplund’s lone protest comes at a time when the far-right in Sweden is increasing its activities, according to Daniel Poohl of Expo, the anti-racist foundation in Stockholm, whose photographer David Lagerlöf captured the image.
The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party polls between 15% and 20% and holds the balance of power in parliament, while racist sentiments are fuelled by a fragmented landscape of internet hate sites. The avowedly antisemitic National Socialists of the NRM are the extreme wing of this spectrum, Poohl says.
“We live in a Europe where far-right ideas are becoming more popular, and there is also a reaction against them. It is a time when people are longing for something to channel their urge to resist the Europe that builds borders against refugees, the Europe that cannot cooperate any more. Tess has captured one of the conflicts of our time,” he said.”