36 Of The Most Powerful, Harrowing And Inspiring Protest Photos From 2016

REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

This was the year of resistance. 

There were plenty of issues in 2016 worth standing for and against, and the brave protesters fighting for justice will continue to inspire us into the new year.

While peaceful protests and warranted stand-off’s often ended in violence at the hands of law enforcement, the fight lives on. Check out the most compelling, harrowing yet inspiring images of protests as 2016 comes to a close.

Let’s get free.

1 of 36 Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images

Outraged protesters face riot during a demonstration against police brutality in Charlotte, North Carolina, following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott the previous day.

2 of 36 Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Outraged protesters face riot police during a demonstration against police brutality in Charlotte, North Carolina, following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott the previous day.

3 of 36 NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

4 of 36 Sean Rayford/Getty Images

5 of 36 Sean Rayford/Getty Images

6 of 36 Patrick Melon

Protestors take a stand after the death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

7 of 36 REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

A woman stands her ground peacefully as a group of police officers in riot gear try to apprehend her during a peaceful protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

8 of 36 Patrick Melon

Protestors take a stand after the death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

9 of 36 Patrick Melon

Protestors take a stand after the death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

10 of 36 Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images

One proster calms down another after a heated argument with officers after the news of a hung jury in the trial of Officer William Porter in the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore.

11 of 36 Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images

Protesters march after the news of a hung jury in the trial of Officer William Porter in the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore.

12 of 36 Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images

A protester confronts members of the Baltimore City Sheriffs Department in front of the Baltimore City City Circuit Courthouse.

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Students under the banner #FeesMustFall, closed some of the country's largest universities - and President Zuma ordered a freeze on tuition fees for a year.

14 of 36 Jerritt Clark

Black Lives Matter protesters call for justice during New York Fashion Week.

15 of 36 Jim Weber/The Commercial Appeal via AP

Protestors take a stand on the Hernando Desoto Bridge in Memphis, Tennesse. Protesters angry over police killings of black people occupied the key bridge over the Mississippi River, blocking an interstate highway for hours

16 of 36 Getty Images

Demonstrators clash with police on December 9, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago Protests Erupt After Mayor Issues Apology for Laquan McDonald's Death

17 of 36 Scott Olson/Getty Images

Demonstrators confront police during a protest following the release of a video showing Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting and killing Laquan McDonald in Chicago, Illinois. Van Dyke was charged today with first degree murder for the October 20, 2014 shooting in which McDonald was hit with 16 bullets.

18 of 36 Getty Images

Demonstrators clash with police, calling for the resignation of the mayor.

19 of 36 Scott Olson/Getty Images

Demonstrators confront police during a protest following the release of a video showing Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting and killing Laquan McDonald in Chicago, Illinois. Van Dyke was charged today with first degree murder for the October 20, 2014 shooting in which McDonald was hit with 16 bullets.

20 of 36 Getty Images

Chicago Police officers block an entrance to City Hall during a Justice for Laquan protest on Wednesday in Chicago.

21 of 36 Win McNamee/Getty Images

Meech Johnson gestures in the street in front of police after Baltimore authorities released a report on the death of Freddie Gray on May 1, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City state's attorney, ruled the death of Freddie Gray a homicide and that criminal charges will be filed. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody.

22 of 36 Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images

Officers from the Baltimore Sheriff's Department arrest a protestor after the news of a hung jury in the trial of Officer William Porter in the Freddie Gray case.

23 of 36 Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Protestors take a stand for #blacklivesmatter in New York City.

24 of 36 Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Protestors take a stand for #blacklivesmatter in New York City.

25 of 36 NurPhoto via Getty Images

Protesters from different societies stage outside the Council of State in France in Paris to show support for Muslim women after 15 French towns introduced and started to enforce a ban on the burkini.

26 of 36 Frederik Sadones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Women in stylish burkinis team up with supporters in Antwerp, Belgium at the beach party to protest against the ban of Burkinis in France.

27 of 36 ZINYANGE AUNTONY

Protestors set up a burning barricade as they clash with police during a protest for electoral reforms, in Harare Zimbabwe.

28 of 36 AFP/Getty images

A supporter of Zimbabwe Opposition Party Movement for Democratic Change Tsvangirai faction (MDC-T) throws back a tear gas canister as protesters clash with police during a march against Police Brutality on August 24, 2016 in Harare, Zimbabwe.

29 of 36 ZINYANGE AUNTONY/Getty images

A woman carrying fertilizer on her head movinaway as Zimbabwe's opposition supporters set up a burning barricade and clash with police during a protest for electoral reforms in Harare, Zimbabwe.

30 of 36 Facebook/Morton County Sheriff's Department

31 of 36 Getty images

Protestors demonstrating against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that has already destroyed sacred burial lands in North Dakota.

32 of 36 Getty images

Protestors demonstrating against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that has already destroyed sacred burial lands in North Dakota.

33 of 36 Getty images

Protestors demonstrating against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that has already destroyed sacred burial lands in North Dakota.

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick certainly wasn't the first to use his professional sports platform to take a stand against social injustice, but he left his own mark on history with his decision to protest the national anthem by kneeling during games while the song was played. In addition to sending the message that he wasn't afraid to risk his livelihood to lend his influence to the fight for Black lives, his simple gesture also sparked a nationwide ripple effect across the sports world at all levels.

35 of 36 ANDA CHU

Protestors in Oakland, California take to the streets after the troubling election results.

36 of 36 Getty Images

A protester wearing an American flag faces police during an anti-Trump protest in Oakland, California.