#SafetyPin campaign shows solidarity with immigrants amid post-EU vote racism


People are wearing safety pins to show their support for anyone experiencing racism following the UK's decision to leave the EU, thanks to a social media campaign.

Allison, a 30-year-old from south-west London, was inspired to start the #SafetyPin campaign because of the reported rise in the number of hate crimes reported to police since the referendum.

The freelance writer - who wasn't able to vote because she is American - said she was inspired by the #ridewithme campaign started in Australia after the Sydney cafe siege in December 2014 where supporters said they would sit with Muslims on public transport.

She said: "I wanted to start something similar - an easy way for people who were at risk of being targeted to quickly and quietly identify who their allies were.

"I tweeted the original thread out and just started bugging people to retweet it. I asked nearly everyone I know personally, plus sent it out to a few big names. At some point it just took on a life of its own."

The idea is that the Pin of Safety "marks its wearer as a safe person" so anyone feeling nervous can sit next to the wearer on public transport or talk to them.

Allison added: "I see the safety pin as a pledge that the wearer will not just stand by if they see acts of racism going on - they will intervene and report, to the best of their abilities."

The hashtag #SafetyPin was trending on Facebook by Tuesday night - and on Twitter on Wednesday - after she launched the campaign on Sunday. And a lot of people are definitely getting behind the campaign.

The campaign also received the support of several famous faces including Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, comedians Noel Fielding and Lenny Henry, singer Charlotte Church and Blur's Graham Coxon.

#SafetyPin has gone international even ...

And it's already having a positive effect according to this Tweeter.

Allison said: "I never expected it would reach this many people. It's really restored my faith in the population of the UK. You always hear about the horrible things on the news - the massive subset of the population who is lovely and kind don't get reported on.

"Anyone can wear the pin. How you voted in the referendum doesn't matter. There are thousands of good people on both sides of this debate who don't want to see immigrants, EU citizens, or black and minority ethnic British citizens abused and harassed."

Of course, there are some people on Twitter who don't think #SafetyPin is the best idea, including Piers Morgan.

But people soon had something to say in response to Morgan's tweet.

Yep, including Allison herself ...