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Saffiyah Smiles

Billy Bragg
Language: English



(2017)
Album: Bridges Not Walls
bridges

Saffiyah Khan


"Following the shocking scenes of white supremacists marching through the streets of Charlottesville this past summer, my mind went back to an image of a young woman facing down a ranting fascist with nothing but a serene smile. Saffiyah Khan had been taking part in a counter demonstration against the neo-fascist English Defence League in Birmingham, England, in April this year when she saw a woman being surrounded by taunting EDL supporters.

Saira Zafar had been verbally opposing the racists and a number of them had left the demo to turn on her. When the police struggled to protect her, Saffiyah stepped up and got in the face of the loudest aggressor, holding him at bay with nothing more than a smile until police intervened. A press photographer captured the moment and the picture went viral. Local Labour MP Jess Phillips memorably tweeted the image with the caption “Who looks like they have the power here?

Saffiyah Khan’s selfless act of solidarity is an inspiration to us all and a reminder that sometimes you can confront hatred by calmly making plain how ridiculous its propagators are."

Billy Bragg
Angry white men dressed like Elmer Fudd
Shouting something about soil and blood
A woman of colour steps out from the crowd
Does something to make us all proud

Just like Victor Hugo told
"To love is to act" and her act was bold
Bold as love, she made her stand
And with a smile took power from the man

Oh, don't you know
We come together when Saffiyah smiles
All around the world
People come together when Saffiyah smiles

Cosplay Nazis marching in file
Hitler's haircut is back in style
Resistance on the streets of Birmingham
And with her smile she disarms the man

Oh, don't you know
We come together when Saffiyah smiles
All around the world
People come together when Saffiyah smiles

This is what solidarity looks like
This is what solidarity looks like
This is what solidarity looks like
This is what solidarity looks like
This is what solidarity looks like
This is what solidarity looks like

This is what solidarity looks like
This is what solidarity looks like
This is what solidarity looks like
This is what solidarity looks like

2017/11/25 - 23:57



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