Want To Help Tackle Racist Violence? Wear A Safety Pin

Safety Pin Racism
Wearing a safety pin can show you're willing to intervene in racist violence. Linus Bohman

Following the U.K.'s Brexit vote last week, reports have been flooding in of racist and xenophobic abuse across the country, including alleged attacks on a halal butcher in Birmingham and a Polish cultural center in London.

While no proven link has yet been established between the violence and the often divisive campaign prior to the referendum, anecdotal evidence suggests that a racist fringe in British public opinion has been emboldened by nationalistic rhetoric.

Whatever the cause, plenty of people are keen to tackle it, and one Twitter user came up with a simple way to show solidarity with immigrants: Wear a safety pin.

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 hashtag #Safetypin has been trending in the U.K. as a result, with users saying they are taking the step to help raise awareness of racist violence.

#safetypin - so simple, so elegant and so necessary, now, more than ever. pic.twitter.com/ZcgLWn8MWz

— The Lucky Rainbow (@TheLRainbow) June 29, 2016

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

No piercing, so my #safetypin is going next to the other symbol of helping others - my stethoscope pic.twitter.com/u5aOhpHYWc

— Keith Grimes (@keithgrimes) June 29, 2016

The campaign group United Against Racism has published guidelines for members of the public who witness racist violence and want to intervene, including this:

Be prepared

Imagine a situation in which a person is threatened or attacked. How would you feel in his or her place? What would you like bystanders to do?

Take action by all means

It is important to take action by all means. Who can step in if not you? Do not rely on others instead of you, as they are likely to think the same.

Never use violence

Never use physical force or weapons. There are other ways to attract attention like using your voice or a whistle, which may divert or stop the perpetrator for an instance.

Do not put yourself in danger

Nobody expects you to risk your own health. Think about which risk you are willing and able to take if necessary.