The 8 Most Ridiculously Badass Protesters Ever Photographed
Protesters are, by their very nature, badass. Whether or not you agree with whatever it is they're standing for, you have to agree that it takes balls to go up against an entire system of government -- one comprised of thousands of highly trained, expertly equipped police and soldiers -- using whatever you find in the street on the walk down to the battlefield. There are two current protests that might be changing the world for the better: One in Wisconsin, trying to preserve what very few bargaining rights public workers still have, and another in Libya, that has since turned into a full scale revolution. It's the least we can do to support them, by spreading the word and increasing awareness. Oh no, wait, the least we can do is to look at a bunch of pictures of badass protesters and make jokes about them. Let's do that instead:
Shield MaidenThis picture was taken at the Amona outpost, West Bank, when armed-to-the-teeth riot police raided the unarmed shanty-town to evict the settlers. There are about twenty cops on the other side of that shield, all of them rushing downhill at full-tilt toward one elderly Jewish woman who looks like she just dropped a casserole dish mid-wash when she realized she was late to the mid-afternoon riot. Twenty riot police on full charge, against one old Jewish woman, and She. Is. Holding. She looks like she'd be denied a part in a LifeAlert commercial on the grounds of frailty, and here she is Gandalfing the holy shit out of
Gas Mask GuyNo, this isn't a screenshot of Fallout 4: New Athens; this was taken during the protests in Greece after their economy collapsed back in spring of 2010. When their government agreed to severe austerity measures that cut wages and benefits to public servants, and raised taxes on the rest of the citizens, but left the higher-ups largely untouched, the protests quickly turned into full-blown riots. Everything about this particular protester -- from the fact that he so accepted being tear-gassed that he brought his own mask, to his battle-corduroys, to his plain red flag apparently proclaiming his loyalty to berserker blood rage -- testifies that he has simply run out of fucks to give. And he didn't have all that many to begin with.
Bee ManIt's one thing to go to a protest, with the screaming, and the tension, and the ever present threat of violence -- it's another thing to do all that while
The KickbomberThough it looks like he's caught in the middle of a 12 hit combo -- just after landing the fireball but right before the flying dragon kick -- this is actually a man in the midst of firebombing an empty policetruck during the anti-Mubarak riots in Egypt. Sure, plenty of destruction happens in a riot, and sure, the riot truck was empty to start with, but he's still dead-sprinting at an armored tank in what appear to be loafers; the fact that he can even get airborne with balls that dense is clear evidence of the Egyptian Basketball Team's terrifying efficiency. Mubarak ran the gamut of cartoonish evil, from raising prices on food while cutting worker's wages, to running a state of fear and police brutality, but the final nail in his regime's coffin was shutting off the internet. In the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller: "First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the internet, so I
Flaming Scarf Guy
Image found by the awesome StrigoiAnother protester in the anti-Mubarak riots, Flaming Scarf Guy looks like he walked straight out of an anime (that he just firebombed). The context is unclear even in the original Al Jazeera photo, so we can't say if he caused that explosion, or if he just sort of appears out of the ether whenever there
Surf Tha PoliceYou can fight the riot cops. You can scream at them, spit in their faces, accuse them of supporting fascism, and question their morals, their motives, and the integrity of their mother's vagina. Or you can give a giggling, psychotic finger to logic and reason, and opt instead to just pull a Dukes of Hazzard on those bastards. Hey, it makes sense: Those shields are like makeshift ramps, he probably got some sweet air. This is yet a third Egyptian protester, and this image completes the most epic trilogy since Lord of the Rings. Yes, pictures are all a matter of timing, and yes, there was probably an unfortunate aftermath immediately after this, and no, it probably didn't do much to stop the police in the grand scheme of things. But for just this one single moment in time, this is a man dive-tackling an entire fucking precinct worth of riot cops and he is
Dairy RioterThis dairy farmer was protesting the EU headquarters in Brussels over rapidly falling milk prices. And that's...probably the least exciting protest that's ever been staged, wrestling away the #1 spot from long-standing champ: The "mail peanuts to executives to keep Jericho on the air" campaign. But this man did not earn his spot on a list populated with iconic badasses hurling grenades and roaring obscenities in the face of authority because of what he's doing here. He's on this list for what he did right before this, which was to take a look at all his friends as they geared up for the protest -- strapping on their gas masks, pocketing their eye wash, testing their tasers, and hefting their clubs - before solemnly reaching down and grabbing the one and only weapon he needed. Then he went to a riot armed with a tit.
Water Cannon ManYou knew he was coming. You knew because he's an internet staple by now. You knew because everything about him -- from his Superman-stance, to his contemptuous sneer, to his kickin' Cable-knit sweater ensemble -- is the very embodiment of defiance. But mostly you knew he was coming because you can't even
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook or you can join him and FIGHT THE POWERS THAT BE! He'll uh...he'll be in the back. Right behind you. Totally. All the way.