Inspired by the protests today in Baltimore, I thought I would catalogue some of the most powerful statements made in the stand against tyranny. Sadly this is a very superficial survey put together in the few hours after work. Nonetheless the message remains clear: “when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty” (Thomas Jefferson).
Silent Man Protest
This caught my attention last year. So elegantly simple, yet very powerful.
1968 Olympics Black Power salute
Iconic. Part of the power of this is what the athletes were giving up, Olympic Gold and Bronze medals. They had reached the absolute pinnacle of their field, achieved what few are able to. And they sacrificed it to raise awareness of civil rights.
The Unknown Man
This sends a shiver down my spine everytime I see the video. And the fact that, even now, no-one knows who he was. Incredible, incredible bravery.
The iconography of V’s mask stands out, but the message should be remembered.
Thích Quảng Đức Self Immolation
I am proud to have visited his monastery in Vietnam. A remarkable act. What more can you say. It is awful to think that this was felt to be the best (only?) option for delivering his message. Quoting David Halberstam’s eye witness account: “…As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him”
Nelson Mandela – Robben Island Imprisonment
Locked away for 18 years because of what he believed in. Just… awe inspiring.
Civil Rights Protesters. Tennesse 1968
Truth be told I don’t know a lot about this photograph, but I find the “I am a man” so striking that I included it. So sad that this even needed to be said.