The Neo-Nazi who screamed at 16-year-old Girl Scout Lucie Myslíková during a rally in Brno on Monday was trying to intimidate her. He did not succeed. Myslíková, a member of a Czech troop that turned out to counterprotest a right-wing demonstration, was calm in the face of aggression and, shortly after a local photographer captured an image of her principled intransigence, internet famous.
The radical, far right Dawn of Direct Democracy party won almost 7 percent of the vote in the Czech Republic’s 2013 Parliamentary election and remains a powerful political force in Brno, a city that was subjected to horrific violence during occupation by Nazi forces in the 1940s. The members of the movement support Tomio Okramua, a populist with anti-Islamic beliefs and frequently hold public rallies that are also attended by antifascist and anti-Nazi groups. On May Day in Brno, roughly 150 demonstrators were joined by over 300 counter-demonstrators, including numerous Girl Scouts.
Vladimir Cicmanec, a programmer and amateur photographer, captured the picture of Lucie’s matter-of-fact bravery, which went viral after it was posted to the The World Organization of the Scout Movement’s Facebook page with a political message: “People from all walks of life, and Scouts among them, came to the streets during an extreme right march yesterday to express their support for values of diversity, peace and understanding. Creating a better world!”
The viral image is an echo of the photograph taken of Saffiyah Khan facing off with a right-winger in Birmingham, England. It is not the first image of a young person courageously standing her ground. It will not be the last.