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29 pictures of people refusing to accept the status quo.

Hey, hey! Ho, ho! This protest art puts on a show!

29 pictures of people refusing to accept the status quo.

The world is too important, and life is too short, for us to accept that it cannot become better than it is.

And so many people won't. Over the past 100 years, protestors have fought for equal rights, education access, justice, and democracy, creating epic and emotional art in the service of making our world more fair.

These are a few of the sculptures, murals, and performances that caught our eye, moved our hearts, and made us think. Up first: a few classics.


1. In May 1913, women marched in New York's Suffrage Parade carrying the American flag and demanding the right to vote.

Image by Paul Thompson/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

2. In June 1917, these pro-prohibition British children took to the streets, demanding sweets.

Image by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

3. In the 1920s, American Prohibition-era protestors made their desires known with a giant barrel of beer.

Image by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images.

Many creative protests grow from political frustration.

4. In May 1989, pro-democracy protestors and art institute students built a 30-foot-tall statue dubbed "The Goddess of Democracy" and planted it in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Image by Toshio Sakai/Getty Images.

This photo was taken May 30. Just days later, the government tanks rolled in.

5. In San Sebastian, Spain, supporters of the pro-independence movement covered the field of Anoeta stadium in long cloths representing a ballot box.

Image by Ander Gillenea/Getty Images.

6. Ukraine is no stranger to political protests. This photo, filled with orange balloons and festoons (the colors of 2004's presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko), was taken on the sixth day of protests after a disputed election.

Image by Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images.

Protests would continue for another two months.

7. For 79 days in fall 2014, Hong Kong's student-led protest movement, the "Umbrella Revolution," occupied busy city streets.

Image by Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images.

Why umbrellas? Because they are excellent for blocking pepper spray, the crowd-dispersing weapon-of-choice for military and police.

8. In the Umbrella Revolution's camps, art installations were a symbol of the creative expression sought by the pro-democracy protestors.

Image by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

9. In March 2016, thousands of protestors — including these extremely unflattering inflatable effigies — filled the streets of Sao Paulo.

Image by Victor Moriyama/Getty Images News.

They were calling for the resignation of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and the incarceration of former President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva

Some protestors use art to call for urgent, transformative justice.

10. These Czech activists imprisoned themselves in Prague's Wenceslas Square to protest unlawful detainment at Guantanamo Bay.

Image by Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images.

The protestors bound their feet and hands, wore black sacks over their heads, and covered their ears with headphones. They called their protest "Two Cubic Meters of Human Rights," a reference to the size of their cages.

11. A protestor lies on sculptor Ai Weiwei's sunflower seeds installation in London's Tate Modern Museum after covering the piece in flyers demanding the artist's release from detention in China.

Image by Carl Court/Getty Images.

Each seed in Weiwei's installation is handmade from porcelain, then hand-painted. There were approximately 100 million made for this piece, which the Tate Modern described as questioning, "What does it mean to be an individual in today's society?"

12. After leaving Johannesburg's 2002 global summit on sustainable development in disgust, environmentalists pinned placards on a nearby art installation. Each one reads "betrayed" in a different language.

Image by Joav Lemmer/AFP/Getty Images.

13. In September 2010, Argentinian teachers marched through Buenos Aires with a mighty pencil while demanding increases in education funding.

Image by Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images.

Other times protest art can transform tragedy into beauty.

14. This powerful light sculpture recognized seven female victims of political violence in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

Image by Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images.

Between 2010 and 2011, post-electoral violence cost the lives of over 3,000 people nationwide in Côte d'Ivoire.

15. After the only bridge linking Mitrovica's Albanian and Serbian neighborhoods was blocked with cement barricades, Albanian artists created one out of waterlily pads instead.

Image by Armand Nimani/AFP/Getty Images.

16. During 2012's Rio+20 conference on sustainability, an artist created these giant fish from discarded plastic bottles.

Image by Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images.

The fish were hollow, allowing them to be illuminated from within at night. The sign nearby encourages passerby to "Recicle suas atitudes" ("Recycle your attitudes").

17. In May 2013, activists floated 12,000 candles on a river in Sclessin — one for every job that would be lost to closures at nearby steel plants.

Image by John Thys/AFP/Getty Images.

18. Located on the sidelines of Men's Fashion Week, Milan's "Wall of Dolls" showcased increasing violence against women.

Image by Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images.

19. To set an example for openness and tolerance, German artist Kurt Fleckenstein installed 175 prayer rugs in front of a church in Dresden in 2015.

Image by Arno Burgi/AFP/Getty Images.

20. As world leaders negotiated a climate deal in Paris, artist Olafur Eliasson brought pieces of Greenland's ice cap to melt in front of the Pantheon.

Image by Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images.

Some protests demand a little theatricality.

21. At this 2003 protest in Avignon, French artists staged a "die in" to protest government welfare reform.

Image by Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images.

22. The face of Greenpeace's Save the Arctic campaign is a polar bear, so it's only natural they'd make a giant one (with moving limbs!) to celebrate their big victory against Arctic drilling.

Image by Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images.

The polar bear first appeared outside the U.K. headquarters of Royal Dutch Shell in September 2015 after the company announced it was suspending its preliminary drilling campaign in the Arctic. It later travelled to the UN climate talks in Paris. Fun fact: just out of frame in this photo? Actress and activist Emma Thompson.

23. In July 2013 in southern France, the women of Banyuls-sur-Mer put modesty on the line, as they strung garlands of bras across streets to protest a private marina project.

Image by Raymond Roig/AFP/Getty Images.

24. On the last day of the COP16 climate talks in Cancun, youth activists dramatized a rescue for the "drowning" negotiators with a giant life preserver and some much-needed optimism.

Image by John Quigley/SpectralQ.

Other protests use art and performance to transform pain and let people heal.

25. For her entire senior year at Columbia University, Emma Sulkowicz carried her mattress everywhere to protest the school's lack of action on rape allegations she brought against another student.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.

She even brought the mattress to her graduation ceremony.

26. Shortly after indigenous activists posed for this photo, they finished digging a trench through this temporary dam, "freeing" the Xingu River and allowing it to resume its natural path.

Image by John Quigley/SpectralQ.

"Pare Belo Monte" translates to "Free Belo Monte." It refers to the site of Brazil's controversial Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River. When completed, the dam will displace thousands of Indigenous people and flood their traditional villages.

27. With negotiations once again locked in a stalemate, hundreds of schoolchildren in Durban, South Africa, created this living lion to encourage world leaders at the COP17 climate talks to have courage to effect change.

Image by John Quigley/SpectralQ.

And sometimes artistic protests can look a little silly.

28. Whatever your position on Facebook, it's hard not to Like this float of its founder Mark Zuckerberg created for Viareggio's annual Carneval parade.

Image credit: Claudio Giovannini/AFP/Getty Images.

Viareggio's Carneval often lampoons cultural figures, particularly politicians, who dominated public discourse over the past year. Previous floats have featured Russian President Vladimir Putin and current U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

29. When Italian artist Graziano Cecchini poured thousands of colored balls down Rome's Spanish steps in 2008, he said each one "represented a lie told by politicians."

Image by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.

As folk singer and activist Phil Ochs' lyrics are often paraphrased: "In such ugly times, the only true protest is beauty."

We're proud these artists and agitators are part of our world. They make it — and us — so much better.

via KTLA 5 / YouTube

A little after 7:30 on Tuesday night, Los Angeles County Sheriffs received multiple reports about a herd of cows running through the streets of Pico Rivera, a city 11 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

This Twitter video does a perfect job of encapsulating the surprise residents felt when they saw 40 cows running through their quiet suburban neighborhood.

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via KTLA 5 / YouTube

A little after 7:30 on Tuesday night, Los Angeles County Sheriffs received multiple reports about a herd of cows running through the streets of Pico Rivera, a city 11 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

This Twitter video does a perfect job of encapsulating the surprise residents felt when they saw 40 cows running through their quiet suburban neighborhood.

Keep Reading Show less
True

Each year, an estimated 1.8 million people in the United States are affected by cancer — most commonly cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, and blood cancers such as leukemia. While not everyone overcomes the disease, thanks to science, more people are surviving — and for longer — than ever before in history.

We asked three people whose lives have been impacted by cancer to share their stories – how their lives were changed by the disease, and how they're using that experience to change the future of cancer treatments with the hope that ultimately, in the fight against cancer, science will win. Here's what they had to say.

Celine Ryan, 55, engineer database programmer and mother of five from Detroit, MI

Photo courtesy of Celine Ryan

In September 2013, Celine Ryan woke up from a colonoscopy to some traumatic news. Her gastroenterologist showed her a picture of the cancerous mass they found during the procedure.

Ryan and her husband, Patrick, had scheduled a colonoscopy after discovering some unusual bleeding, so the suspicion she could have cancer was already there. Neither of them, however, were quite prepared for the results to be positive -- or for the treatment to begin so soon. Just two days after learning the news, Ryan had surgery to remove the tumor, part of her bladder, and 17 cancerous lymph nodes. Chemotherapy and radiation soon followed.

Ryan's treatment was rigorous – but in December 2014, she got the devastating news that the cancer, once confined to her colon, had spread to her lungs. Her prognosis, they said, was likely terminal.

But rather than give up hope, Ryan sought support from online research, fellow cancer patients and survivors, and her medical team. When she brought up immunotherapy to her oncologist, he quickly agreed it was the best course of action. Ryan's cancer, like a majority of colon and pancreatic cancers, had been caused by a defect on the gene KRAS, which can result in a very aggressive cancer that is virtually "undruggable." According to the medical literature, the relatively smooth protein structure of the KRAS gene meant that designing inhibitors to bind to surface grooves and treat the cancer has been historically difficult. Through her support systems, Ryan discovered an experimental immunotherapy trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD., and called them immediately to see if she was eligible. After months of trying to determine whether she was a suitable candidate for the experimental treatment, Ryan was finally accepted.

The treatment, known as tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy, or TIL, is a testament to how far modern science has evolved. With this therapy, doctors remove a tumor and harvest special immune cells that are found naturally in the tumor. Doctors then grow the cells in a lab over the next several weeks with a protein that promotes rapid TIL growth – and once the cells number into the billions, they are infused back into the patient's body to fight the cancer. On April 1, 2015, Ryan had her tumor removed at the NIH. Two months later, she went inpatient for four weeks to have the team "wash out" her immune system with chemotherapy and infuse the cells – all 148 billion of them – back into her body.

Six weeks after the infusion, Ryan and Patrick went back for a follow-up appointment – and the news they got was stunning: Not only had no new tumors developed, but the six existing tumors in her lungs had shrunk significantly. Less than a year after her cell infusion, in April 2016, the doctors told Ryan news that would have been impossible just a decade earlier: Thanks to the cell infusion, Ryan was now considered NED – no evaluable disease. Her body was cancer-free.

Ryan is still NED today and continuing annual follow-up appointments at the NIH, experiencing things she never dreamed she'd be able to live to see, such as her children's high school and college graduations. She's also donating her blood and cells to the NIH to help them research other potential cancer treatments. "It was an honor to do so," Ryan said of her experience. "I'm just thrilled, and I hope my experience can help a lot more people."

Patrice Lee, PhD, VP of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Exploratory Development at Pfizer

Photo courtesy of Patrice Lee

Patrice Lee got into scientific research in an unconventional way – through the late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Lee never met Cousteau but her dreams of working with him one day led her to pursue a career in science. Initially, Lee completed an undergraduate degree in marine biology; eventually, her interests changed and she decided to get a dual doctoral degree in physiology and toxicology at Duke University. She now works at Pfizer's R&D site in Boulder, CO (formerly Array BioPharma), leading a group of scientists who determine the safety and efficacy of new oncology drugs.

"Scientists focused on drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry are deeply committed to inventing new therapies to meet unmet needs," Lee says, describing her field of work. "We're driven to achieve new medicines and vaccines as quickly as possible without sacrificing safety."

Among the drugs Lee has helped develop during her career, including cancer therapies, she says around a dozen are currently in development, while nine have received FDA approval — an incredible accomplishment as many scientists spend their careers without seeing their drug make it to market. Lee's team is particularly interested in therapies for brain metastases — something that Lee says is a largely unmet need in cancer research, and something her team is working on from a variety of angles. "Now that we've had rapid success with mRNA vaccine technology, we hope to explore what the future holds when applying this technology to cancers," Lee says.

But while evaluating potential cancer therapies is a professional passion of Lee's, it's also a mission that's deeply personal. "I'm also a breast cancer survivor," she says. "So I've been on the other side of things and have participated in a clinical trial."

However, seeing how melanoma therapies that she helped develop have affected other real-life cancer patients, she says, has been a highlight of her career. "We had one therapy that was approved for patients with BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma," Lee recalls. "Our team in Boulder was graced by a visit from a patient that had benefited from these drugs that we developed. It was a very special moment for the entire team."

None of these therapies would be available, Lee says without rigorous science behind it: "Facts come from good science. Facts will drive the development of new drugs, and that's what will help patients."

Chiuying "Cynthia" Kuk (they/them) MS, 34, third-year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Kuk

Cynthia Kuk was just 10 years old when they had a conversation that would change their life forever.

"My mother, who worked as a translator for the government at the time, had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and after her chemotherapy treatments she would get really sick," Kuk, who uses they/them pronouns, recalls. "When I asked my dad why mom was puking so much, he said it was because of the medicine she was taking that would help her get better."

Kuk's response was immediate: "That's so stupid! Why would a medicine make you feel worse instead of better? When I'm older, I want to create medicine that won't make people sick like that."

Nine years later, Kuk traveled from their native Hong Kong to the United States to do exactly that. Kuk enrolled in a small, liberal arts college for their Bachelor's degree, and then four years later started a PhD program in cancer research. Although Kuk's mother was in remission from her cancer at the time, Kuk's goal was the same as it had been as a 10-year-old watching her suffer through chemotherapy: to design a better cancer treatment, and change the landscape of cancer research forever.

Since then, Kuk's mission has changed slightly.

"My mom's cancer relapsed in 2008, and she ended up passing away about five years after that," Kuk says. "After my mom died, I started having this sense of urgency. Cancer research is such that you work for twenty years, and at the end of it you might have a fancy medication that could help people, but I wanted to help people now." With their mother still at the forefront of their mind, Kuk decided to quit their PhD program and enter medical school.

Now, Kuk plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine – not only because they are drawn to the excitement of the emergency room, but because the ER is a place where the most marginalized people tend to seek care.

"I have a special interest in the LGBTQ+ population, as I identify as queer and nonbinary," says Kuk. "A lot of people in this community and other marginalized communities access care through the ER and also tend to avoid medical care since there is a history of mistreatment and judgement from healthcare workers. How you carry yourself as a doctor, your compassion, that can make a huge difference in someone's care."

In addition to making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ patients, Kuk wants to make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer as well, like their mother had.

"We've diagnosed patients in the Emergency Department with cancer before," Kuk says. "I can't make cancer good news but how you deliver bad news and the compassion you show could make a world of difference to that patient and their family."

During their training, Kuk advocates for patients by delivering compassionate and inclusive care, whether they happen to have cancer or not. In addition to emphasizing their patient's pronouns and chosen names, they ask for inclusive social and sexual histories as well as using gender neutral language. In doing this, they hope to make medicine as a whole more accessible for people who have been historically pushed aside.

"I'm just one person, and I can't force everyone to respect you, if you're marginalized," Kuk says. "But I do want to push for a culture where people appreciate others who are different from them."