How the simple safety pin has become a symbol of the fight against racism
In the wake of the Brexit vote last week there has been increasing concern over the treatment of and attitudes towards immigrants.
Since the vote, there appears to have been a spike in anti-immigrant incidents nationally including a graffiti attack on Polish cultural centre and cards demanding “no more Polish vermin” posted through letterboxes.
Social media has also been awash with videos and photographs documenting racist and anti-immigrant abuse and on Monday the National Police Chiefs’ Council said there had been a 57 per cent rise in reports to a hate crime reporting website between Thursday and Sunday compared with the previous month.
In the face of this one woman hopes to have come up with a simple way for the people of Britain to show their solidarity with those facing abuse.
Twitter user miss pommery 1926, an American named Allison who lives in the UK, has started a campaign urging people to wear a safety pin on their clothes to show their opposition to racism and let anyone suffering abuse know that the wearer is on their side.
Allison said: It’s simple because you don’t have to go out and buy it, there’s no language or political slogans involved. It’s just a little signal that shows people facing hate crimes that they’re not alone and their right to be in the UK is supported.
“No matter how we voted, we can all stand up against this wave of violence and abuse directed at EU nationals and immigrants.”
Since it started, the #safetypin campaign has been gaining momentum, with hundreds of Twitter users posted images of themselves wearing their pins. Allison has already received the backing of Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussein and hopes that more famous names will take up the cause.
Last night she tweeted: “I’m so glad that so many people have got on board with it. Tomorrow we get out there all ‘pinned up and ready to go, shoulder to shoulder.”