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The image of a Swedish woman of color confronting neo-Nazis with her raised fist has captured global attention, and will likely become an iconic image in the fight against racism.

CNN identified her as 42-year-old Maria-Teresa “Tess” Asplund, an activist inspired by Nelson Mandela’s anti-apartheid struggle.

Several hundred members of the Nordic Resistance Movement marched Sunday in Borlänge, Sweden to vent their outrage over the government allowing non-White immigrants into the country.

Asplund stepped in front of the angry extremists with her raised fist to denounce their racism. Her act lasted a few seconds before the police escorted her away, the network reported. But the image will live on.

“When I did it, I was angry. I wasn’t scared. Now when I think about it, I understand it could have been worse. Now I see that,” Asplund told CNN.

This courageous act might have been lost to history but for the photograph, which has made its way around the world. Swedish photographer David Lagerlöf documented Asplund’s silent protest, and posted the image on Twitter for the world to see.

Thousands of people shared his photograph, including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling:

Lagerlöf told CNN that Asplund was among a group of anti-Nazi protesters at the march. He said she suddenly broke away and took a personal stand. He expressed it this way to CNN:

“She was in real danger. She had nothing to stand up to those guys. The Nazis that she confronted, there were many of them, they were bigger, they are used to violence, and what she did was she went up to them, stood in front of them and stared at the leaders, stared them in the eyes, and it should have ended really bad.”

Asplund told the network she acted on “impulse” to tell the neo-Nazis that their movement is unacceptable. She hopes her photograph inspires others to also take a stand against racism.



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New Iconic Moment: Woman Raises Fist To Neo-Nazis  was originally published on