A photograph of a Czech teenage girl scout confronting a Neo-Nazi supporter has been widely shared on social media worldwide as a symbol of defiance against the far-right movement. The image, which has collected over 60,000 points on Reddit, was taken during a May Day rally in the Czech Republic’s second biggest town of Brno.
Lucie Myslíková, a 16-year-old girl-scout, was one of a group of some three hundred protesters who confronted a rally organised by the far-right Workers party of Social Justice in Brno on May 1. She was captured in a photograph facing one of the 150-or-so supporters of the fringe party. The image shows Lucie in a scout’s uniform, holding a banner, face to face with an angry neo-Nazi activist wearing dark sunglasses. It was snapped just as a soap bubble drifted past the young girl’s face.
In an interview for the Czech Radio, Lucie, who has been a scout for seven years, explained why she was wearing her girls scout uniform:
“I think it made sense, because fascism and totalitarian regimes in general are in contradiction with the scouting movement. Although scouting is apolitical, I think that assuming a clear stand was the right thing to do. Scouting also teaches us to be free, to express ourselves and to be active in public, in other words to try to make the world a better place. This was an ideal opportunity to show that we really abide by these principles.”
Ms Myslíková explained that she was arguing with the man over refugees and migrants. She said she was trying to explain to him that countries had a duty to help those fleeing war, and that in such cases borders did not exist.
The photograph, which has since become iconic, was taken by fellow demonstrator Vladimír Cicmanec, who posted it on his Facebook profile on the same day. It was then shared by the World Organization of the Scout Movement and quickly became viral, attracting attention worldwide.Among those who expressed support for Lucie’s brave stand was the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ahmed Alhendawi, who called her to tell her the scouting world was very proud of the way she stood up for her beliefs.
“It is very moving to be connected over thousands of kilometres with a person who is so high-placed and who took the trouble to call and say thank you. It is great to see that the values we stand up for are acknowledged even so far away.”
Not all the reactions to the picture were positive, however. Threats of violence against the young girl also appeared on Facebook, prompting the police to report the page and launch an investigation.
Lucie Myslíková, for her part, said this was yet more proof of growing intolerance in the society.