This tiny object is making a huge statement
The tiny safety pin is making a huge impact in Great Britain—and it has nothing to do with punk rock.
Following last week’s stunning Brexit vote, the United Kingdom saw a staggering 57 percent increase in reported incidents of xenophobic abuse, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council. Some victims even took to social media to share photos of the alleged verbal and physical abuse they have suffered since the vote.
I'm very sad to read the news about the racist attacks across the UK in the past few days #PostRefRacism #brexit https://t.co/cXNGBYJfqA— Aleksandra Karpowicz (@Aleksandra Karpowicz) 1466946320
David Cameron, Great Britain's outgoing Prime Minister, said in a statement:
“In the past few days we have seen despicable graffiti daubed on a Polish community centre, we’ve seen verbal abuse hurled against individuals because they are members of ethnic minorities. Let’s remember these people have come here and made a wonderful contribution to our country. We will not stand for hate crime or these kinds of attacks, they must be stamped out.”
Oddly enough, it is an American who came up with the small but mighty gesture for those looking to support immigrants in the U.K. As Mashable reports, a Twitter user named Allison proposed the simple idea of wearing a safety pin to show solidarity for immigrants.
So I have an idea similar to #ridewithme to help protect those eing abused as result of Brexit referendum - but I need your help.— miss pommery 1926 ✊ (@miss pommery 1926 ✊) 1466972888
The idea being that anyone against the sort of nationalistic, racist violence we've been seeing could identify themselves as a "safe" ally.— miss pommery 1926 ✊ (@miss pommery 1926 ✊) 1466972933
I'd like to come up with something that can be made by anybody anywhere to pin on their jacket or coat to signify that they are an ally.— miss pommery 1926 ✊ (@miss pommery 1926 ✊) 1466972986
I quite like the idea of just putting a safety pin, empty of anything else, on your coat. A literal SAFETY pin!— miss pommery 1926 ✊ (@miss pommery 1926 ✊) 1466973091
The idea quickly took off with hundreds of social media users sharing their new flair with the world.
Wearing a #SafetyPin this morning. Solidarity with those who have made this wonderful country their home https://t.co/6zx9EMTC29— Mark Ferguson (@Mark Ferguson) 1467190824
I'm also wearing #safetypin to show solidarity with immigrants and EU citizens. ☺ #HopeNotHate https://t.co/6CSo1cqHFh— Fuad Alakbarov (@Fuad Alakbarov ) 1467188173
Of her idea's success, Allison told Indy100:
“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. I'm always having to remind people I'm an immigrant. You know, I'm white and speak English as a first language so I get a pass. They say 'oh you don't count, you're not the kind of person we're talking about."
Though some have criticized the gesture for being superficial, Allison believes the show of support can speak volumes in a divided nation.