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upworthy

resistance

It's not easy facing a bully, but what do you do when you're confronted with a whole mob of them?

During President Donald Trump's visit to London last week, a crowd of his supporters and anti-Muslim protesters rallied in central London.

The protesters fixated their attention on a bus driven by a headscarf-wearing woman. The mob held up Islamophobic and pro-Trump signs, some shouted racial epithets, and a topless man ran up to the windshield and began verbally assaulting the driver.


It's hard to imagine what to do when you're targeted in a heated situation like that, but one inspiring photo showed the woman's powerful response: a smile.

The photo went viral in admiration of how she remained so calm, collected, and unfazed by the mob of protesters.

However, some people disagree with celebrating the bus driver's calmness. In their opinion, fascists and racists shouldn't be afforded civility.

Acts of racism like this are increasing at an alarming rate — particularly in the U.K.

In the United Kingdom, the Muslim and South Asian communities are often targeted by the English Defense League — a white supremacist organization — and far-right politicians. In June 2017, two Muslim cousins were attacked with acid in a hate crime. In October 2017, the U.K. Home Office released a report revealing a 29% increase in hate crimes compared with the previous year. Furthermore, out of all the hate crimes between 2016 and 2017, 78% were racially motivated.

But the headscarf-wearing woman is setting an example and offering us a glimpse of hope. She kept doing her job and refused to be baited by their hate. Despite the racist protests and scare tactics used, we still know that we're on the right side of history.

A lot of people get invited to meet the president of the United States. It's supposed to be quite an honor.

War heroes. Sporting champions. Top scientists.

Only, with President Donald Trump in office, some of these meetings are taking on a different complexion. It sure seems like a lot more people are skipping out on shaking the president's hand than in previous years.


A few notable Patriots were missing from this celebration. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

For instance, New England Patriots player Alan Branch said, in no uncertain terms, that he had no interest in meeting Trump after his team's Super Bowl victory because of the way the president has spoken about women in the past.

Boycotting the meeting is a good way to make your voice heard.

It's not the only way.

Nikos Giannopoulos, a teacher from Rhode Island, was recently named his state's Teacher of the Year. His prize? A meeting with the president.

Giannopoulos just happens to be, in addition to a great teacher, a gay man.

This puts him at odds with the president regarding, well, Giannopoulous' very identity. It's no secret that the Trump administration is full of opponents of equal rights for LGBTQ people, and his first months in office have been disastrous for the community.

The president himself has yet to even acknowledge June as LGBTQ Pride Month (even though it's now more than halfway over).

You'd think Giannopoulous might refuse the meeting on principle. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to start a different kind of conversation.

During his photo op with the president and first lady, Giannopoulous sported a rainbow pin and a black lace fan in the greatest and least-subtle photobomb ever.

Giannopolous' description of the meeting is jam-packed with shade toward Trump, whom he calls, "the man at the desk."

But he wasn't there to pick a fight. He was there to send a message.

Giannopoulous meets with the Trumps. Photo by Shealah Craighead/White House.

“I wore a rainbow pin to represent my gratitude for the LGBTQ community that has taught me to be proud, bold, and empowered by my identity — even when circumstances make that difficult,” Giannopoulos wrote on Facebook. “I wore a blue jacket with a bold print and carried a black lace fan to celebrate the joy and freedom of gender nonconformity.”

He writes that the meeting was exceptionally — almost rudely — brief. Just a photo op, then he and other teachers were ushered away.

He didn't get a chance to speak privately with Trump, but if he had, he knew exactly what he'd say:

“Had I been given the opportunity, I would have told him that the pride I feel as an American comes from my freedom to be open and honest about who I am and who I love. I would have told him that queer lives matter and anti-LGBTQ policies have a body count.”

Giannopoulous' poignant photo has gone viral, smack-dab in the middle of Pride Month, racking up thousands of shares and comments.

When you're a championship level pro-athlete and you skip a meeting with the president, it makes news. But when you're a high school teacher from the Northeast soaking up what's probably a once-in-a-lifetime trip inside the White House, you have to think outside the box.

Giannopoulous' hilarious and unapologetically flamboyant photo hits hard, and it's forcing everyone who sees it to confront the realities of a discriminatory administration.

It just goes to show, there many different ways to resist.

Most Shared

Portugal. The Man's new music video is a guide to resisting Trump.

Not only is it a catchy tune, but it's also packed with tips to making a better world.

The music video for "Feel It Still," a song by a band called Portugal. The Man, isn't exactly what it seems.

To the casual observer, it's your standard music video. But if you look deeper, it becomes a bit more obvious what it actually is: a toolkit for resistance in the age of Trump.

An interactive version of the video is on the band's website.

There, viewers are instructed to click on a series of "easter eggs" hidden throughout the video, which depicts lead singer John Gourley as a party guest who, after getting knocked out during a fight, wakes up in a junkyard filled with problems that need fixing.


Every time a clue is clicked, a message such as "Give to the ACLU" or "Combat climate change" pops up on the screen. At the end of the video, viewers are taken to a page where they can take action on the items they've unlocked (as well as clicking an "unlock all" button to bring up the full range of choices). In all, there are 30 different action items.

[rebelmouse-image 19528911 dam="1" original_size="750x308" caption="This moment in the video, which links to the "Fight Fake News" easter egg, resulted in an angry tirade from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Screenshot from Portugal. The Man/YouTube." expand=1]This moment in the video, which links to the "Fight Fake News" easter egg, resulted in an angry tirade from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Screenshot from Portugal. The Man/YouTube.

[rebelmouse-image 19528912 dam="1" original_size="750x306" caption="This steamy shot of two people in the back of a car links to the band's "Fund Planned Parenthood" call to action. Screenshot from Portugal. The Man/YouTube." expand=1]This steamy shot of two people in the back of a car links to the band's "Fund Planned Parenthood" call to action. Screenshot from Portugal. The Man/YouTube.

[rebelmouse-image 19528913 dam="1" original_size="750x302" caption="The quick shot of a lawyer in a junkyard takes people to an "Understand Your Protest Rights" website. Screenshot from Portugal. The Man/YouTube." expand=1]The quick shot of a lawyer in a junkyard takes people to an "Understand Your Protest Rights" website. Screenshot from Portugal. The Man/YouTube.

Juxtaposing the devil-may-care attitude of the song with tangible ways to resist the Trump administration is by design.

"This project came at an interesting time where music and culture and politics are coming together in a way we haven’t seen in decades," explained Jason Kreher, the creative director of Wieden+Kennedy, the creative agency the band partnered with to bring the video to life, in a press release. "We loved the idea of presenting the apathetic, decadent 'rebel just for kicks' from the song against a hidden message of resistance."

He described the video as being "for the people out there who are still feeling something [...] a real, practical laundry list of ways you can get out there and fight injustice."

[rebelmouse-image 19528914 dam="1" original_size="750x306" caption="Down for the count and outlined in white chalk, this scene links to the "Stencil Your Own Designs" action item. Screenshot from Portugal. The Man/YouTube." expand=1]Down for the count and outlined in white chalk, this scene links to the "Stencil Your Own Designs" action item. Screenshot from Portugal. The Man/YouTube.

[rebelmouse-image 19528915 dam="1" original_size="750x309" caption="This woman, shown mouthing the lyrics during the party scene at the song's beginning, represents the video's clue to "Elect Women." Screenshot from Portugal. The Man/YouTube." expand=1]This woman, shown mouthing the lyrics during the party scene at the song's beginning, represents the video's clue to "Elect Women." Screenshot from Portugal. The Man/YouTube.

[rebelmouse-image 19528916 dam="1" original_size="750x304" caption="And this silhouetted man with a saxophone links to the "Support Undocumented Artists" action. Screenshot from Portugal. The Man/YouTube." expand=1]And this silhouetted man with a saxophone links to the "Support Undocumented Artists" action. Screenshot from Portugal. The Man/YouTube.

In all, there are 30 action items listed on the band's website along with links to get you started:

Give to the ACLU, fight fake news, stand up for equality, combat climate change, talk about difficult subjects, support Black Lives Matter, send native people to college, contact your representatives in D.C., fund Planned Parenthood, find out where to resist, pick up wheatpaste skills, call the White House, stencil your own designs, understand your protest rights, have a newborn outlook, aid refugees, protect people in the shadows, push for gun control, use your wallet, support undocumented artists, back reasonable drug laws, save an Alaskan village, cross out hate, learn about global warming dislocation, know your rights, download some posters, save the EPA, follow the money, elect women, and help the House Ethics Committee.

Were you able to find them all?

Portugal. The Man's new album, "Woodstock," is now available online and in stores.

More

One photographer gave women who feel silenced the chance to be heard.

Beautiful things happen when we listen to each other.

The 2016 election inspired a cultural movement. But not everyone feels represented.

#Resistance has been trending. People are protesting for what they believe is right: women's rights, refugee rights, immigrants' rights. An America that lives up to its ideals.

The Women’s March brought out record numbers of people across the country who were angry and desperate for change. But as inspirational as those marches were, many communities still feel like their voices aren’t being heard.


‌"The world needs active global citizens who stand together in unity and solidarity. This is not the time to become complacent. This is the time to finally embrace each other regardless of color, race, gender, religious preferences and even personal choices."‌ — Afrodita. All images via Alanna Airitam, used with permission.

Alanna Airitam, a San Diego-based photographer, reached out to women who feel silenced.

“Although I was inspired to see how many people came together for the protests after the inauguration, I was equally discouraged to see that once again, it was the white majority whose voices were the loudest,” Alanna writeson her website. “If we are really trying to move towards inclusive, progressive change, shouldn’t we not only hear from, but understand the needs of the people who so rarely get to be heard?”

Alanna Airitam.

She wanted to know how other women from marginalized communities felt. She wanted to put her own feelings into context. So she created "Being Heard: Between the Margins," a photo essay series documenting a variety of perspectives.

“What it ended up being was sort of, for me, a lesson in listening to people. Allowing people to speak, to be heard, to be seen, without any judgment,” Alanna says.

"Why am I the only disabled person in the room when I go to an Indivisible Meeting? Is it apathy or is it fear? It’s not that our voices aren’t being heard. We need to show up first to do the shouting. We’re not showing up. We need to show up." — Bhavna

I'm a black woman in an America that frequently pretends everything is OK and hate, oppression, and inequality are things of the past. The election unearthed a lot of feelings for me.

I signed up to be a part of the project. I went into her studio. I told my side of the story. And I heard hers.

We sat in a room together for over two hours, and it felt like a therapy session.

I shared my concerns that the resistance movement is nothing more than a trend. So many people want to tell their kids that they stood on the right side of history, but how does that translate into their daily interactions? What are they doing after they vent their frustration on Facebook?

She stressed that small moments of human connection are being lost as we move through this world with our eyes on our devices, not seeing each other.

As we spoke, I forgot about her camera. I got to be in the moment, learning with her. It was cathartic. I walked away feeling more whole.

"Some of us have lived with this reality our entire lives. There is no going home and taking our skin off. There is no escape, no option to step away." — Me

What started as a quest to hear and be heard yielded a surprising conclusion.

“We really are all struggling with the same thing. We’re all struggling to fit in somewhere, to be accepted. We’re all looking for that belonging,” Alanna says.

Setting differences aside and listening to each others' experiences is the only way to begin to heal as a community and move forward.

"To be fully heard and received ... ah, what a gift that would be! I can count on one hand how many times I have felt listened to and validated while discussing the subject of skin color." — Ana

After participating in the photo series, meeting the many women who were a part of it, hearing their stories, and sharing my own, I truly believe the path forward begins with empowering communities to share their truth and taking the time to listen. Because their voices deserve to be heard.