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18 Powerful Moments of Peace During Protests

These images of people stopping to make a peaceful gesture or to help someone in need remind us that, even in the midst of violence and political conflict, our capacity for compassion and understanding can still shine through.

Whatever your perspective on a given political issue may be, it’s always unfortunate when a group of people have to react to protests and riots to get their voices heard. The world’s eye is currently focused on the riots in Ukraine, where rioters and riot police battle it out over whether the struggling nation’s future will see it grow closer to the European Union or to Russia (Editor’s note: We are aware that this is an over-simplification of the political situation in Ukraine, but the nuances of the riots there are beyond the scope of this article. No protest is ever that simple). But let’s not forget the Arab Spring riots throughout the Middle East, the riots in Turkey, and others throughout the world. The last decade has been one of growing political unrest.

In all of these situations, large groups of people found that protest, peaceful or otherwise, was the only way to get their voices heard. But despite the violence, people still chose to help each other. In some cases, they even found a way to reach across the riot shield wall and simply help their fellow human being, be they a riot police officer or a protester. It’s comforting to see that even the worst situations can sometimes bring out the best in us.

via: distractify

1. Man playing piano for riot police in Kiev, Ukraine, 2013

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Image credits: Andrew Meakovski

2. A young boy offers a heart-shaped balloon to police in Bucharest, Romania, 2012

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Image credits: ioanamoldovan.com

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Image credits: ioanamoldovan.com

3. Orthodox priest trying to prevent a clash between demonstrators and the police in Kiev, Ukraine, 2014

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Image credits: Sergei Supinsky

4. A student protesting education reform hugs a policeman in Bogotá, Colombia, 2011

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Image credits: William Fernando Martinez

5. Riot police and protesters cry together in Sofia, Bulgaria, 2013

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Image credits: Torod Musev

6. Riot police help a woman affected by tear gas in Ankara, Turkey, 2013

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Image credits: Umit Bektas

7. Christians protect Muslims as they pray during the revolution in Cairo, Egypt, 2011

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Image credits: Nevine Zaki

8. A student protesting education reform leans in to kiss a riot officer in Bogotá, Colombia, 2011

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Image credits: nbcnews.com

9. Turkish protesters help a dog who was teargassed during a clash with police in Istanbul, Turkey, 2013

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Image credits: huffingtonpost.com

10. Woman defends a wounded protester from a military bulldozer  in Egypt, 2013

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Image credits: abc.net.au

11. An anti-government protester offers a rose to a soldier  in Bangkok, Thailand, 2013

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Image credits: voafanti.com

12. Protesters dressed as clowns entertain guards at a G20 meeting in Toronto, Canada, 2010

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Image credits: xkalmedia.com

13. A young boy in KKK robes sees his reflection in a riot shield held by a Georgia state trooper in Georgia, USA, 1992

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Image credits: Todd Robertson

14. Demonstrators lined up with mirrors to show law enforcement personnel their reflections in  Kiev, Ukraine, 2013

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Image credits: Kostyantyn Chernichkin

15. Protesters throw flowers at a protest in Istanbul, Turkey, 2013

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Image credits: Marko Djurica

16. Egyptian woman kisses a policeman during the revolution against the Mubarak Government in Egypt, 2011

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Image credits: Lefteris Pitarakis

17. Egyptians embrace army soldiers after they refuse orders to fire on civilians in Cairo, Egypt, 2011

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Image credits: Yannis Behrakis

18. Kissing couple during the riots in Vancouver, Canada, 2011

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Image credits: Richard Lam

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