A Simple Way To Show Solidarity With Immigrant Population Goes Viral

One of the ugliest side effects of the UK's decision to leave the EU last week has been a sharp increase in reported hate crimes.

Vote Leave's campaign was tainted by accusations of racist propaganda when a poster unveiled by UKIP featured an edited photograph of refugees. The image came under particularly heavy criticism for its likeness to Nazi posters. The National Police Chiefs' Council said on Monday there had been a 57 per cent rise in reports to an online hate crime reporting site between Thursday and Sunday compared to a month ago.

It's reported that the majority of attacks appear to be aimed at immigrants, or people perceived to be immigrants, and are along the lines of 'We voted Leave, you're going home", leaving some people feeling alone and uneasy. However 'Allison', an American woman living in London, think she may have solved part of the problem. 

She's started a new campaign asking people to wear an empty safety pin as a badge to symbolise solidarity against racism - and let any potential targets know that the wearer is a friendly face. The literal 'safety' pin is inspired by the 'I'll ride with you' campaign against Islamophobia in Australia following the Sydney cafe shootings in 2014. Allison hopes the neutral, obvious, safety pins will be a sure signal to anyone worried that there are allies around. She said:

"Hopefully anyone targeted by abuse, including British people of colour, can take some comfort from the idea."

Hundreds of people have gotten on board with #safetypin so far, and Allison hopes that a real-world effect is starting to trickle through - but says raising awareness is key.


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