PRAGUE – A Czech Girl Scout who has become an internet sensation after a photo showing her confronting a neo-Nazi group went viral said it is important for young people to comment on public issues.
Lucie Myslikova, 16, was among some 300 protesters who confronted a rally of the far-right Workers Party of Social Justice on May Day in Brno, the second-largest Czech city.
"I think it makes sense to be seen and to be heard," Myslikova told The Associated Press in an interview on Friday.
"I think it's important. I think young people should comment on public issues, to express their views," the arts school student said. "They will live in the future and they should create it as they wish."
She was captured in a photo facing one of about 150 supporters of the fringe party, which is against migrants and the European Union.
Myslikova said she and other protesters were holding banners and chanted some slogans, which their opponents didn't like and the man on the photo was keen to explain that to them.
"We talked about the nation, about borders, about migration," she said. "I don't want to judge him. I don't fight against those people, I fight against their views."
She said she was not afraid, though riot police had to separate the groups and detained 11 people from both camps.
"I participated in a non-violent way," Myslikova said.
The World Organization of the Scout Movement posted the image on its Facebook page, saying the girl was joining others to express support for "diversity, peace and understanding."
On Friday, Myslikova had traveled from her hometown to Prague to be interviewed by Czech public television.
She said it was not the first such protest for her, but the first in which she was wearing a scout uniform.
"I think that it was a right thing to do because the entire protest corresponds with scout values."
Although all the focus is now on her, she pointed out she was just one of many.
"It's a strange feeling," she said. "It's weird that someone happened to take picture of me and at the same time people can't see how many people were around who were doing the same as me. I wasn't there alone."