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Image captures lone woman’s courageous stand against 300 neo-Nazis

A photograph taken over the weekend of a lone woman standing, fist-raised, in the path of a 300-strong march of neo-Nazis is on the way to becoming a celebrated image of resistance, as the far-right gathers strength in Scandinavia.

Tess Asplund, 42, said she impulsively stood in the way of the uniformed Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) members in Börlange, Sweden, on Sunday. “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.”

Local media are comparing the image to one by Hans Runesson from 1985, known as “the lady with the bag,” that shows a woman hitting a member of the Nordic Reich Party in the head. The new photo was captured by David Lagerlöf of the Stockholm-based anti-racist foundation Expo.

Asplund, who stands only 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs just 110 pounds, is hoping the now-viral image will not endanger her. “The Nazis are very angry, so I am little: ‘Oh s***, maybe I shouldn’t have done that, I want peace and quiet.’ These guys are big and crazy. It’s a mixed feeling, but I am trying to stay calm.”

The NRM is known for targeting anti-racists, she said. “I have friends who have been attacked by them and who have had to change their address. I have had calls at night from private numbers, screaming at me. It is hard to talk about the hate,” she said.

The action took place in a period of increased activities by the Swedish far-right, with the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats — who hold the balance of power in parliament — polling between 15 and 20 percent. The antisemitic NRM are on the extreme right of the spectrum, Expo’s Daniel Poohl told the Guardian.

“I hope something positive will come out of the picture,” Aspland said. “Maybe what I did can be a symbol that we can do something – if one person can do it, anyone can.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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