Olga Misik: The new icon of defiance

Updated: Aug 02, 2019, 02:05 PM(IST)

From the unknown 'Tank Man' of Tiananmen Square protest to Alaa Salah in Sudan, brave protesters have always been the icon of hope. Olga Misik from Russia has joined this illustrious list.

Olga Misik's defiance against oppression

The photo of a 17-year-old girl reading the Russian constitution in front of riot police has emerged as yet another powerful symbol of defiance against oppression. 

Surrounded by a posse of policemen equipped with shields, batons and helmets, Olga Misik read portions from the Russian constitution which talked about the right to peaceful gatherings.

(Image Courtesy: Twitter/Independent Digital News & Media Limited)


Moscow's political upheaval

The photograph, which emerged earlier this week, has gone viral in the wake of protests in Moscow denouncing the exclusion of some opposition and independent candidates from the Moscow city council election ballot.

(Image Courtesy: Twitter/Independent Digital News & Media Limited)


Face of protest, Alaa Salah

Misik has joined the league of other iconic figures like Alaa Salah, a 22-year-old architecture student from Khartoum, who emerged as the face of protest in Sudan calling for the ouster of the country's longtime president Omar al-Bashir. Bashir was finally overthrown by the country's military in April this year.


Climate activist, Greta Thunberg

Another such youngster to have mobilised world public opinion on the looming peril of global warming is Greta Thunberg. The 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden has been awarded the prestigious Amnesty International prize for her efforts.


Icon of peace, Malala Yousafzai

Among these prestigious names is that of Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan was shot by the Taliban in 2012 when she was 15 for speaking up for girls' education and peace. She not only recovered from the attack but became a global icon promoting peace and fighting for girls' rights across the world. She won the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in 2014.


Tiananmen Square protest

The protests started on April 15, 1989 and were forcibly suppressed on June 4 when the government declared martial law and sent the military to occupy central parts of Beijing. 

In what became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, troops armed with assault rifles and accompanied by tanks fired at the demonstrators and those trying to block the military's advance into Tiananmen Square.

China has never provided a full accounting of the 1989 violence. The death toll given by officials days later was about 300, most of them soldiers, but rights groups and witnesses say the death toll could have run into the thousands.


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