People are standing against ignorance and hate in a very pointed way.
Following the historic referendum last week in which the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, incidents of racism in Britain have skyrocketed. However people across Twitter are donning safety pins as a way of showing their support for the immigrants living in the country, and assuring that they’re safe with them.
My daughter, husband & I are wearing #safetypin to show solidarity, support & respect for our migrant population. pic.twitter.com/I3ib3obtDs
— Natasha (@AlbieAndSage) June 29, 2016
“It’s simple because you don’t have to go out and buy it, there’s no language or political slogans involved,” Allison, the woman who started the #safetypin campaign and uses the Twitter handle @cheeahs, told Indy100. “It’s just a little signal that shows people facing hate crimes that they’re not alone and their right to be in the U.K. is supported.”
Since the referendum results came out, immigrants have been on the receiving end of bigotry. On Tuesday, Juan Jasso, who’s lived in the U.K. for 18 years, was the victim of such an incident. Teenagers on the train told the man to “get back to Africa,” among other hateful words, and flicked alcohol at him, according to the Telegraph. And this past weekend, the Polish Social and Cultural Association was allegedly vandalized as their front door was sprayed with an offensive message, CNN noted.
There’s even a social media account, PostRefRacism, which helps users documents incidents of racism.
By donning safety pins, however, people of all backgrounds have been standing in solidarity with immigrants in the U.K. Some shared photos of themselves, wearing the pins on their outfits or work attire. Other Brits took the opportunity to spread messages showing immigrants that they are welcome in the country.
Ready to be your #SafetyPin on the bus,in streets,wherever you are,my fellow foreign-born friends ❤️#LoveOverFear pic.twitter.com/4wqzMCHs2N
— Dancing Psychiatrist (@Lollindialogue) June 29, 2016
No piercing, so my #safetypin is going next to the other symbol of helping others – my stethoscope pic.twitter.com/u5aOhpHYWc
— Dr Keith Grimes (@keithgrimes) June 29, 2016
According to Indy100, Alison, who was horrified by the abuse that followed the referendum results, is an immigrant herself. She said that people who voted on both sides of the referendum have shown that they’re disturbed by the bigotry and hate that’s arisen. And while wearing a safety pin is a simple act, she hopes it’ll compel people to really make a change.
One last thing and then I'm out: Remember that wearing the #safetypin is an act of solidarity, not just of opinion.
— miss pommery 1926 (@cheeahs) June 28, 2016
“The first step is just getting it out in the open,” she told the outlet. “The more people you start a conversation with, the easier it is to combat violence and abuse.”
Check out more #SafetyPin tweets below.
Wearing #SafetyPin in solidarity with those from all over the world who make our NHS tick-intolerance to hate & fear pic.twitter.com/OEKSrcXknp
— Alexander Gates (@dr_alex_gates) June 29, 2016
I'm fighting #PostRefRacism with a #SafetyPin.
Mine has a heart on it, because love heals ❤ pic.twitter.com/iF6vQD64AU
— Godfrey Elfwick (@GodfreyElfwick) June 28, 2016
Wearing a #safetypin to show solidarity with EU citizens and immigrants here in the UK. #youarewelcomehere pic.twitter.com/dQ0sukN9t5
— Emma Pass (@EmmaPass) June 28, 2016
A woman just hugged me in Tesco because I'm wearing a #SafetyPin. #ReasonsToBeCheerful #HopeNotHate
— Samantha Gouldson (@SamGouldson) June 28, 2016
Plz follow @cheeahs, take part in #safetypin campaign. Offer to support immigrants being abused. I will not stand by, see them threatened.
— Jane Wilkinson (@janewilkinson59) June 28, 2016
Proud to see my girl child, unbidden, go off to school with a safety pin on her blazer. #safetypin
— jennylandreth (@jennylandreth) June 29, 2016
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