Here’s The Powerful Reason People Are Wearing Safety Pins In The U.K.
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.
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.
“I quite like the idea of just putting a safety pin, empty of anything else, on your coat. A literal SAFETY pin!”
The idea quickly took off with hundreds of social media users sharing their new flair with the world.
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.