Sometimes the best way to fight bad situations is with love and compassion. Here are some great moments where empathy triumphed over violence in history.
A man playing piano for police [Kiev, Ukraine, 2013]
This year, Ukrainians participated in their largest popular protest since 2004. The protests were shrouded with violence by both sides, including 200 protesters who commandeered a digger and attacked the presidential palace. The protests led to the downfall of the pro-Russian Government and a war in the east.
Sgt. Bret Barnum hugs 12-year-old Devonte Hart at a demonstration following the police shooting of Michael Brown. [Portland, Oregon, 2014]
An anti-government protester offers a rose to a soldier [Bangkok, Thailand, 2013]
A girl delivers sandwiches to protesters amongst the chaos [Ukraine, 2013]
Flower power during the Vietnam War Protests [Arlington, Virginia, 1967]
Riot police and protesters shed tears together [Sofia, Bulgaria, 2013]
In Bulgaria, students and other protesters converged on parliament in November 2013 after having enough of poverty and corruption. The protests against the socialist-backed Government, named the ‘Red Mafia’ saw several injured.
Egyptian woman kisses a policeman during the revolution against the Mubarak Government [Egypt, 2011]
In the midst of the Arab Spring, weeks of protests and violence began in an attempt to overthrow the Mubarak Government. More than 2 million protesters occupied Tahrir square and clashes with police and Mubarak supporters resulted in 846 deaths. In February, the army refused to fire on protesters with live rounds and Mubarak was forced to resign.
An injured woman is helped by her boyfriend after disappointed hockey fans turn violent [Vancouver, Canada, 2011]
In 2011, hockey fans took to the streets of Vancouver after the Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals. Over 140 were injured and $5 million worth of damage done.
A student protesting education reform leans in to kiss a riot officer [Bogotá, Colombia, 2011]
Whilst the 2011 protests against student reform were mostly peaceful, violence broke out when small groups of people threw rocks at police. After this initial violence, police used tear gas and water against the 30,000 protesters.
Christians protecting Muslims as they pray during the revolution [Cairo, Egypt, 2011]
German riot officers take off their helmets and escort Occupy protesters [Frankfurt, Germany, 2011]
Protesters help a dog affected by tear gas [Istanbul, Turkey, 2013]
A brave priest organises a human shield between protestors and police [Kiev, Ukraine, 2013]
Officer Joselito Sevilla is comforted after being berated by a protester [Manila, Philippines, 2013]
Protesters dressed as clowns entertain guards at a G20 meeting [Toronto, Canada, 2010]
A student protesting education reform hugs a policeman [Bogotá, Colombia, 2011]
Child touches his reflection during a KKK demonstration [Georgia, USA, 1992]
The young child in KKK attire became famous when this image hit the presses because of the way that it showed the innocence of children. Although the child is only known by his first name, Josh, the photographer and trooper met in 2012, 20 years after the image was taken.
A young boy offers a heart-shaped balloon to police [Bucharest, Romania, 2012]
7. In 2012, health reforms triggered protests in Romania. They quickly became violent and resulted in the resignation of the Prime Minister, Emil Boc.
Caring citizens offer tea to British riot police [London, England, 2011]
Riots over a police shooting in England were quickly used as an excuse to loot by small numbers of protesters in cities across the country. Six deaths were reported, all inflicted by looters. The violence lacked popular support, resulting in many scenes of police and public cooperation.
A Turkish protester plays guitar for police [Turkey, 2011]
A child poses beside National Guard members during the LA Riots [Los Angeles, USA, 1992]
On March 3, 1991, Rodney King, an African America, was badly beaten by white police officers. On April 29, 1992, the officers were acquitted in court and on the same day riots broke out throughout LA as a result. Around 2000 were injured and 58 died in some of the worst race riots in American history.
Citizens band together to clean up the mess following London riots [London, England, 2011]
Protesters share crackers with Colombian riot police [Columbia, 2013]
Riot police help a woman affected by tear gas [Ankara, Turkey, 2013]
What started as an attempt to protect Gezi Park from becoming a mall snowballed and protesters are now calling for many other concessions. In all, 11 people have died and over 8000 have been injured.
Woman successfully defends a group of cornered riot officers from angry protesters [Bogotá, Colombia, 2013]
What started as a peaceful protest in Bogotá to support a farmers strike quickly turned violent. Small elements of the protesters assaulted police and began looting.
Girl hands water to two officers [Bosnia, 2013]
A young protester embraces a police officer [Lisbon, Portugal, 2012]
In 2012, Portugal faced austerity measures and tax hikes like those seen in Spain and Greece. This resulted in a number of protests throughout the country.
Mourners form a 5-mile barrier between a soldier's funeral and the Westboro Baptist Church [USA, 2012]
Protesters in Brazil bring cake to an officer for his birthday [Brazil, 2013]
A Turkish couple moments after being doused by water cannons [Istanbul, Turkey, 2013]
Berkeley professor teaches his class on the side of a building after an evacuation following protest [University of California, USA, 2011]
Occupy protesters help a woman in a wheelchair escape tear gas [Oakland, USA, 2011]
Egyptians embrace army soldiers after they refuse orders to fire on civilians [Cairo, Egypt, 2011]
After a year filled with struggle, perseverance, and progress across every continent, it is important to remember that no matter what values are at stake, we are all on the same team.