This Swedish Woman Standing up to Hundreds of Neo-Nazis Has Became a Symbol of Heroism Worldwide

Swedish Woman Protests Neo-Nazis: Tess Asplund Symbol of Heroism
Tess Asplund stood up to neo-Nazi protestors in Sweden via AP

05/05/2016 AT 05:40 PM EDT

An image of a woman standing up to 300 neo-Nazis during an anti-fascist rally has become a symbol of heroism across the world.

Tess Asplund, 42, raised her fist in protest in the streets of the Swedish city of Borlänge on May 1, standing in the path of hundreds of neo-Nazis – part of a rising tide of far-right, anti-immigrant sentiment in Scandinavia.

"It was an impulse," Asplund told the Guardian. "I was so angry, I just went out into the street. I had this adrenaline. No Nazi is going to march here, it's not okay."

Photographer David Lagerlöf captured Asplund's courageous moment, which spread on the internet in the following days.

Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling even shared the picture on Twitter.

In the photograph, Asplund can be seen holding her ground with her fist held high – a gesture Asplund said she borrowed from Nelson Mandela. She stares a neo-Nazi protester directly in the eye, seemingly unwilling to compromise or back down.

The image is being compared to an iconic 1985 picture taken by Hans Runesson – often referred to as "The Old Lady with the Bag" – in which a Swedish woman is about to hit neo-Nazis with her purse.

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